Hope for the elderly: Cognitive programs that keep you fit

For those worried about Age Related Cognitive Decline or Senile dementia or the Alzheimer’s, there is hope round the corner. A study published in PNAS, has demonstrated that a brain plasticity-based training that involved a 1 hr workout, 5 days a week, for 8-10 weeks, led to a significant improvement both on the training exercises as well as on measures of general auditory memory as measured by the global auditory memory scale of RBANS. The exercises were relatively simple, like syllable matching and identification; or narrative comprehension and word span; but were focused on enhancing the brain’s plasticity.

While the effect of cognitive training and workout on childhood cognitive development is relatively well-documented, the effects for adults and aging population are relatively less established. Another similar study has recently shown that even computer based interventions can lead to significant increases in cognitive functioning, even for the seriously incapacitated population like those suffering from Alzheimer’s. This should be of some cheer to those who are tormented by the thoughts of incapacitation in senility. If we give our brains a proper workout, we can reverse, or at least limit, the presumably ‘inevitable’ cognitive decline with age.

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