Two recent studies have documented the ability of computer software to help older adults improve their memory.
UCLA: Dakim Brain Fitness Improves Memory
Researchers at UCLA Medical Center found that people who regularly use the Dakim Brain Fitness program improved their memory and language skills. UCLA Researcher Dr. Karen Miller told CBS News that she believes a regular 25-minute brain workout could hold off the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
"What we hope is that by creating more and more programs we can figure out how to protect our brain and maybe push that timeframe off for all of us," she said.
The CBS News report featured interviews with residents of Kingsley Manor Retirement Community in Los Angeles. The community is affiliated with CAST Sponsor Front Porch.
Harvard: Brain Stimulation Increases Brain Connections
Researchers at Harvard Medical School are currently testing the NeuroAD Medical Device, a technology solution that provides both physical and intellectual brain stimulation. On the physical side, NeuroAD provides electromagnetic stimulation to targeted areas of the brain through a device that attaches to a person’s head. At the same time, the person completes cognitive training exercises on a computer screen.
Researchers documented that the dual approach to brain stimulation boosts cognitive functioning in Alzheimer's patients. In addition, results of functional MRI scans detected increased connectivity in the brain, according to Medical News Today.
"It is a completely new and different approach, safe, noninvasive and painless,” says Harvard Professor of Neurology Alvaro Pascual-Leone, who led the research team. “As a result, patients' daily activities, such as taking care of themselves, speaking, and even recognizing their loved ones, have improved dramatically. This far exceeds what is currently available with medications today.”
Israel-based Neuronix developed NeuroAD. The company plans to seek approval for the device from the Food and Drug Administration.