January 13, 2014
Older adults who received as few as 10 sessions of mental (cognitive) training showed improvements in reasoning ability and speed-of-processing when compared with untrained controls participants as long as 10 years after the intervention. These gains were even greater for those who got additional "booster" sessions over the next three years. Older adults who received brief cognitive training also reported that they had less difficulty in performing important everyday tasks. The findings are published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
"Showing that training gains are maintained for up to 10 years is a stunning result because it suggests that a fairly modest intervention in practicing mental skills can have relatively long-term effects beyond what we might reasonably expect," said lead author Dr. George Rebok of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
"Our findings provide support for the development of other interventions for senior adults, particularly those that target cognitive abilities showing the most rapid decline with age and that can affect their everyday functioning and independence. Such interventions have potential to delay the onset of difficulties in daily functioning," said Dr. Rebok. He added that even small delays in the onset of mental and functional impairments may have a large impact on public health and help reduce rising health care costs.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140113100614.htm