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Computerized Brain Exercise Improves Memory
Date:4/6/2009

Breakthrough Study Led by USC and Mayo Clinic of Posit Science Software

SAN FRANCISCO, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Older adults can significantly improve their memory and performance at everyday activities by training with computerized brain exercises, according to a study published today in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The randomized controlled trial of 487 healthy older adults was led by researchers at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Southern California. Half were assigned to a group that trained with brain fitness software for four to five hours a week for eight weeks. The other half spent an equal amount of time doing traditional coursework on the computer, involving lectures and quizzes.

The study found that 97 percent of those using the software, The Brain Fitness Program(TM) from Posit Science(R), increased their processing speed -- typically more than doubling their speed, with an average increase of 131 percent. They also experienced gains on standard measures of memory and attention of 10 years, on average. In addition, participants reported significant improvements in performing everyday activities.

The gains of the brain exercise group were clinically significant; the gains of the lecture group were significantly smaller and not clinically significant.

The Brain Fitness Program was developed by a global team of neuroscientists. It consists of six computer exercises that continuously adjust based on performance.

Marlene Allen, aged 75, of Mill Valley, California, participated in the study. "Now I don't have to write down shopping lists," said Ms. Allen. "And I almost never walk into a room and forget why anymore."

"The changes we saw in the experimental group were remarkable," said Liz Zelinski, PhD, principal investigator from USC. "People got better at the tasks
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SOURCE Posit Science
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