Intervention Becomes First to Successfully Reduce Risk of Dementia

Intervention Becomes First to Successfully Reduce Risk of Dementia

New therapy has, for the first time, been able to lower the chance of dementia occurring among elderly patients. A new randomized control trial was published in an Alzheimer’s medical journal that reveals the findings. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Over a ten year period, researchers showed that speed processing training lowered the dementia risk nearly thirty percent compared to those that did not receive the training. Healthy adults from around the United States were selected and tracked for ten years, as they aged from their mid seventies to their mid eighties. Those who were selected for the cognitive training received sessions of instruction in the therapy over a six week period, about an hour per session.

After evaluation, those who received the speed training done via computerized sources showed a markedly lower risk of dementia. Some of the groups of patients in the study had nearly half as much of a chance of developing dementia as those who didn’t receive any of the new therapy instructions.

The training focuses on teaching patients to engage with speed, attention, and visual accuracy on tasks. The therapy focuses on both selective attention as well as divided attention tasks, and is referred to as speed of processing training.

Key Points:

  • 1“Speed of processing training resulted in decreased risk of dementia across the 10-year period of, on average, 29 percent as compared to the control,” said lead author Jerri Edwards, PhD.
  • 2Researchers found no significant difference in risk of dementia for the strategy-based memory or reasoning training groups, as compared to the control group.
  • 3However, as compared to the control group, the computerized speed training group showed significantly less risk of dementia – averaging a 29 percent risk reduction.

Computerized brain-training is now the first intervention of any kind to reduce the risk of dementia among older adults.

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