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ACTIVE study claims long term benefit of brain game

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As little as ten hours of training helped seniors resist mental decline. The most noteworthy game was double decision where a player has to increase their ability to process visual discrimination skills and peripheral vision skills at the same time and with increasing speed. The study used a control group and it was funded by the company that makes brain hq. The pop press, including the WSJ, has widely reported this in the last few days.



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That does look like potentially exciting results from brain training. But there are quite a number of experts who are skeptical of the reported results. Here is a good article discussing why it is too early to tell whether the reported results are real or just a fluke. Some of the reasons to be skeptical include:

  • The results were reported at a conference and have not yet been peer-reviewed.
  • The subjects appeared to have benefited 10 years later from 10 hours of brain training on a single, rather narrow task, and not two other tasks. 
  • Nobody has any idea why this particular task should slow the progression of AD, or how such a modest intervention could have such a delayed and significant impact.

Despite these reservations, it is still encouraging, and if I were struggling with mild cognitive impairment, I'd probably give it a try, since it almost certainly can't hurt. But more work needs to be done to prove out it's efficacy.



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