Wed, May 24, 2017 | updated 11:27 PM IST

Brain training enhances memory, helps prevent dementia

Updated: Nov 14, 2016 15:58 IST      
Brain training enhances memory, helps prevent dementia

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov.14 (ANI): A new study has found that computer-based brain training can improve memory and mood in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

However, the training is no longer effective once a dementia diagnosis has been made.

After reviewing more than 20 years of research, the researchers found that brain training could lead to improvements in global cognition, memory, learning and attention, as well as psychosocial functioning (mood and self-perceived quality of life) in people with mild cognitive impairment. Conversely, when data from 12 studies of brain training in people with dementia was combined, the results were not positive.

Mild cognitive impairment involves a decline in memory and other thinking skills despite generally intact daily living skills. It is one of the strongest risk factors for dementia. The people with mild cognitive impairment are at one-in-10 risk of developing dementia within a year - and the risk is markedly higher among those with depression.

Brain training is a treatment for enhancing memory and thinking skills by practicing mentally challenging computer-based exercises - which are designed to look and feel like video games.

Dr Amit Lampit, who led the study, said the results showed brain training could play an important role in helping to prevent dementia.

"Our research shows that brain training can maintain or even improve cognitive skills among older people at very high risk of cognitive decline - and it's an inexpensive and safe treatment," Dr Lampit said.

To arrive at their conclusion, the team combined outcomes from 17 randomised clinical trials including nearly 700 participants using a mathematical approach called meta-analysis, widely recognised as the highest level of medical evidence.

The team has used meta-analysis before to show that brain training is useful in other populations such as healthy older adults and those with Parkinson's disease.

"Taken together, these wide-ranging analyses have provided the necessary evidence to pursue clinical implementation of brain training in the aged-care sector - while continuing research aimed at improving training effectiveness," Dr Lampit said.

Associate Professor Michael Valenzuela, leader of the Regenerative Neuroscience Group at the Brain and Mind Centre, believes new technology is the key to moving the field forward.

"The great challenges in this area are maintaining training gains over the long term and moving this treatment out of the clinic and into people's homes," Valenzuela said.

"This is exactly what we are working on right now," he added.

Valenzuela is one of the leaders of the multi-million-dollar Australian Maintain your Brain trial that will test if a tailored program of lifestyle modification, including weekly brain training over four years, can prevent dementia in a group of 18,000 older adults.

The results have been published in the prestigious American Journal of Psychiatry. (ANI)

DNA may have only modest impact on sexual assault arrests

Updated: May 24, 2017 19:06 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Most arrests in sexual assault cases occur before crime laboratory results are available, a new study found, suggesting that DNA testing may influence arrests in just a small number of cases.

Full Story >>

Your eyes can reveal if you have the post-disaster blues

Updated: May 24, 2017 16:01 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Turns out, your eyes really are the windows to your soul as a recent study has found that depression risk following a natural disaster can be predicted via pupil dilation.

Full Story >>

Size of whale has evolved in the recent past!

Updated: May 24, 2017 11:03 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 7 (ANI): Interestingly, blue whales, the largest vertebrate animal that ever lived, have recently evolved into giants.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 7 (ANI): A team of researchers discovered that deep portions of earth's mantle might be as hot as it was more than 2.5 billion years ago.

Full Story >>

Death by Kissing Bugs more common than thought: Study

Updated: May 22, 2017 13:26 IST     

New York [USA], May 22 (ANI): Kissing Bugs, who like to bite humans around their lips and faces, as they sleep, are more dangerous than you have ever thought of.

Full Story >>

Now, deaf-blind can 'watch' television with this technology

Updated: May 21, 2017 14:15 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 21 (ANI): In a first, researchers have developed a new technology that types Braille or subtitles of television channels in real time and helps deaf-blind people "watch" television without intermediaries.

Full Story >>

Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions!

Updated: May 18, 2017 17:15 IST     

New Delhi [INDIA], May 18 (ANI): According to a new study, growing plants and then storing CO2, taken up from the atmosphere, is no viable option to counteract unmitigated emissions from fossil fuel burning.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 17 (ANI): Large families and strong social ties may help female rhesus macaques live longer, by reducing their chances of dying by 2.3 percent in one year, reveals a new study.

Full Story >>

Turns out, 'drunk you' not that different from 'sober you'

Updated: May 16, 2017 07:21 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 16 (ANI): Your personality may change when you drink, but less than you think, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Researchers find ways to make solar energy affordable

Updated: May 14, 2017 21:20 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): In a recent study, researchers used data science to determine and predict the effects of exposure to weather and other conditions on materials in solar panels.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): Just like students choose their flatmates, Briton researchers have found that males of great tit birds are quiet selective when it comes to neighbourhood and opt to nest together with like-minded neighbours to improve their chances of survival.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A group of international scientists studying China's Yellow River has come up with an analytic formula that could help officials better predict and prevent its all-too-frequent floods, which threaten as many as 80 million people.

Full Story >>

'Winged' snakes once slithered the Earth

Updated: May 13, 2017 12:54 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A mysterious 5-million-year-old "winged serpent" has finally been identified as a new species of ancient snakes.

Full Story >>

Newly-found distant 'warm Neptune' has primitive atmosphere

Updated: May 12, 2017 10:33 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 12 (ANI): A team of scientists has discovered a distant Neptune-sized planet that has clear skies and an atmosphere almost entirely composed of hydrogen and helium, scientists have discovered.

Full Story >>

New 3-D printed 'bionic skin' lets robots 'feel'

Updated: May 11, 2017 12:27 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a revolutionary process for 3D printing stretchable electronic sensory devices that could give robots the ability to feel their environment.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): African lion is the next big cat species to become extinct as they have lost most of their prey, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

The hidden cost of helping your co-workers

Updated: May 10, 2017 19:56 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): If you're a co-worker who helps other, you are likely to feel good, but are those good feelings coming at a price?

Full Story >>

Scientists track brain developments of newborn babies

Updated: May 10, 2017 15:25 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): Researchers can now easily study how the human brain develops as scientists have published ground-breaking scans of newborn babies' brains.

Full Story >>

Device to check ripeness of tomatoes?

Updated: May 10, 2017 12:30 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 10 (ANI): Future farmers may be zapping tomatoes with lasers!

Full Story >>

Secret behind stealthy solar storms revealed

Updated: May 09, 2017 09:41 IST     

Washington D.C.[USA], May 9 (ANI): While mostly massive solar storms are often preceded by some kind of warning, sometimes mysterious slower-moving 'stealth' storms appear seemingly out of nowhere, leaving scientists baffled.

Full Story >>