A meta-analysis has found that brain training – or Computerised Cognitive Training (CCT) – can improve memory in people with mild cognitive impairment, suggesting it may prevent dementia, which can take hold within a year.

Researchers have found that engaging in computer-based brain training can improve memory and mood in older adults with mild cognitive impairment – but training is no longer effective once a dementia diagnosis has been made.

The team reviewed more than 20 years of research and showed that brain training could lead to improvements in global cognition, memory, learning and attention, as well as psychosocial functioning (mood and self-perceived quality of life) in people with mild cognitive impairment.

Conversely, when data from 12 studies of brain training in people with dementia was combined, results were not positive.

Brain training is a treatment for enhancing memory and thinking skills by practising mentally challenging computer-based exercises – which are designed to look and feel like video games.

The team combined outcomes from 17 randomised clinical trials including nearly 700 participants, using a mathematical approach called meta-analysis, widely recognised as the highest level of medical evidence.

The results were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Paper: “Computerized Cognitive Training in Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”
Reprinted from materials provided by the University of Sydney.


January 16, 2017