Previous research has shown the benefits of exercise and of cognitive training on reducing the risk for dementia. Newly released research is showing a specific type of cognitive training that has the greatest results. Over the course of the Advanced Cognitive Training in Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study, researchers worked with 2,800 healthy adults aged 65 and older over the course of ten years. They divided them into four groups with three performing a specific type of brain training and the fourth, control group, following no program.
The three types of brain training focused on memory, reasoning, or speed of processing. Upon a ten-year follow-up, researchers found that healthier, older aged adults having performed speed of processing cognitive training reduced their likelihood of getting dementia by 29% over the untreated control group. The researchers surmised their findings, saying,
“the magnitude of this effect is greater than the relative risk reduction anti-hypertensive medications provide against major cardiovascular events like stroke, coronary heart disease, or heart failure, in which treatment is associated with a 20-40% relative risk reduction over 3 to 5 years.”
Jerri D. Edwards, Huiping Xu, Daniel O. Clark, Lin T. Guey, Lesley A. Ross, Frederick W. Unverzagt. Speed of processing training results in lower risk of dementia. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.trci.2017.09.002
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