Video: Nun Study
News report on a study conducted by David Snowdon of the University of Kentucky.
Video: Physical Exercise
Professor Nelson discusses how physical exercise can help the brain.
The Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE)
This nationwide clinical trial is
so far the nation's largest study of cognitive training. Researchers
found that improvements in cognitive ability roughly counteract the
degree of long-term cognitive decline typical among older people without
dementia. The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association in 2002, showed significant percentages of the 2,802
participants age 65 and older who trained for five weeks for about 2 1/2
hours per week improved their memory, reasoning and
Joe Verghese, M.D. found that
people could reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s by 64% simply by raising
their activity score by 1 point, and a 1-point increase corresponded to a
reduction of dementia risk by 7%. That means that people could lower
their dementia risk by 7% simply by adding one activity per week (such
as doing a crossword puzzle or playing a board game) to their schedule.
According to the findings of that same study, subjects who did crossword
puzzles four days a week had a 47% lower risk of dementia than subjects
who did a crossword puzzle just once a week.
Using the above equation. using
Wise123 at the minimal recommended level (4 exercise 4 times a week)
would equate to 28% lower risk of developing dementia.
Study from the University of Illinois
A study of a number of elderly people
suggest that those who see themselves as self-disciplined, organized
achievers have a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s than people who
are less conscientious. This may from increasing neural connections.
Previous studies have linked social
connections and stimulating activities like working puzzles with a lower
risk of Alzheimer’s. The same researchers reported previously that
people who experience more distress and worry about their lives are at
News Release from the Gerontological Society
Data from the Computer Improvement study were presented to the Gerontological Society of America's annual conference. The purpose of the Study was to evaluate whether improvements from cognitive training can extend to untrained measures of memory performance and to self-perceived everyday cognition.
The Study's trial compares the benefits of a plasticity-based cognitive computer training program to a computer-based learning control matched for computer usage and training intensity. It was chosen to represent current clinical recommendations regarding "staying cognitively active." The Study's is the first large-scale randomized controlled trial of a non-invasive, computer-based cognitive intervention for aging adults that is available for widespread, individual use. In addition to using standardized neuropsychological tests to assess training-related changes in memory, the Study's measured the improvements in cognitive abilities directly reported by study participants themselves.
Using an intensive series of adaptive computerized exercises is designed to target the speed and accuracy of auditory and language processes, and neuromodulatory systems associated with learning and memory. Predefined endpoints distinct in design and content from training exercises included standardized neuropsychological assessments of memory and participant-reported outcome (PRO) assessments measuring perceptions of everyday cognition.
After 10 weeks of training, significant group by time interactions favoring the experimental group were seen on the primary endpoint measure and multiple
within-modality but not cross-modality secondary endpoint measures.
Principal Investigators Glenn Smith, PhD at Mayo Clinic and Elizabeth Zelinski, PhD at the University of Southern California, participated in this prospective, randomized, controlled trial. The study involved 524 healthy adults over the age of 65.
"Your brain is capable of changing, for the worse or for the better, at any age."
Dr. Michael Merzenich, Neuroplastician
active person in old age was 2.6 times less likely to develop dementia
and Alzheimer's disease than a cognitively inactive person in old age."
The American Academy of Neurology
study that followed 1,500 elderly subjects in Sweden for more than 20
years, have found that typical heart disease risk factors such as high
cholesterol and high blood pressure can more than double the risk of
"People are worried," says Dr. John Hart
Jr., medical science director of the Center for BrainHealth at the
University of Texas at Dallas. "You have a large group of the population
getting to the age where they are sort of vulnerable to degenerative
neurological diseases that seem to be prevalent."
Hart says there is "reasonable evidence"
that challenging your brain by learning new things can stave off the
cognitive decline that comes with aging.