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Study Shows Brain Fitness can Save Medicare Billions
Date:8/4/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Just ten hours of the right brain fitness exercises can have a significant and long lasting impact on healthcare costs and outcomes, according to a study recently published in BMC Health Services Research, a leading peer-reviewed health services journal.

Researchers found that participants who did just ten hours of special computerized brain exercises had better health outcomes, lowering projected Medicare costs by hundreds of dollars per year. As the number of Medicare enrollees grows from 44 million to 61 million over the next ten years, this represents more than $100 billion in potential savings.

The report is part of a multi-site trial funded by the National Institutes of Health and known as the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study. There were 2,802 healthy adults, aged 65 and older, enrolled in the study. The participants were divided into three intervention groups and a no contact control group. The intervention groups received classroom training in reasoning or memory strategies or took part in computerized brain fitness exercises. Each intervention was based on a total of ten hours of training over one initial six-week period. Participants have been followed for more than five years.

The ACTIVE study team previously reported that participants who performed the computerized brain exercises had significantly improved health outcomes, as measured by a widely used instrument assessing health-related quality of life, known as the SF-36. In this report, researchers used a model recently developed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to predict healthcare costs, based on massive correlation of actual healthcare costs to SF-36 scores.

The researchers found that a yea
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SOURCE Posit Science
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