Braintraining to prevent Dementia
Research continues to indicate that brain training together with healthy eating and exercise results in slower mental decline. This applies even to the senior population, along with those that are at risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Researchers in Finland carried out a study with 1260 participants between the ages of 60 and 77 who were at risk of dementia. Participants were divided into two groups, one group in which a health intervention plan was applied to, and the other group in which it was not.
The intervention program consisted of brain training, exercise, healthy eating advice, and management of metabolic and vascular risk factors. The control group (those that received no intervention) simply received advice on how to live healthily.
After two years those in the intervention group scored a significant 25% higher in mental functioning tests than those in the control group. For executive functioning, the higher control functions of the brain, responsible for working memory, reasoning, task flexibility, problem-solving, and planning, scores were even more remarkable, 83% higher. Processing speed was astonishingly 150% better for the intervention group!
These findings suggest that a multi-domain intervention is a good possible method of improving cognitive functioning for at-risk seniors, and in doing so could be a valuable approach in the reduction of the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.