Brain Exercise Brings Lasting Improvement For Seniors
A little bit of brain boosting goes a long way. Ten years long. That’s the verdict of researchers at the University of Florida, who found that the improvement from just a few cognitive exercises was still apparent ten years after the exercise was done. A University of Florida news release reports that the researchers studied 2,832 seniors aged 65 to 96, who were divided into groups for 10 training sessions in memory, reasoning or speed of processing. Training was conducted in 60- to 75-minute sessions over a five- to six-week period. Some participants were randomly selected to receive booster training 11 and 35 months following the initial training, and a control group received no training. The researchers tested the participants immediately after the training, and again two, three, five and 10 years later. At the 10-year mark, nearly three-quarters of study participants who received reasoning training and more than 70 percent of speed of processing participants were performing at or above their baseline level compared with about 62 percent and 50 percent, respectively, of control participants. And while memory improvements did not last 10 years later among participants in the memory training group, older adults in all three of the training groups reported less decline in their ability to perform daily tasks.