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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 trained, those improvements generalized to standard measures of memory and people noticed improvements in their lives."

The study is the first published in a medical journal to show memory and attention gains in older adults using a widely available brain fitness program.

About Posit Science:

Posit Science works with more than 50 scientists from leading universities to develop its software, which has been shown to significantly improve processing speed, memory, attention and quality of life in more than 30 peer-reviewed papers. Posit Science has received numerous NIH grants and other awards and is currently featured in two PBS documentaries: "The Brain Fitness Program" and "Brain Fitness 2." For more information, visit www.PositScience.com or call 1-800-599-6463.


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