Jerri D. Edwards
Speed of processing training decreased risk for dementia, while memory and reasoning training did not, according to recent findings.
“Speed of processing training resulted in decreased risk [for] dementia across the 10-year period of, on average, 29% as compared to the control,” Jerri D. Edwards, PhD, of University of South Florida, said in a press release. “When we examined the dose-response, we found that those who trained more received more protective benefit.”
To determine if three different types of cognitive training lowered risk for dementia over 10 years, researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial among 2,802 initially healthy older adults. Study participants were randomly assigned to receive memory, reasoning or speed of processing training programs or a no-contact control. Participants completed up to 10 training sessions over 6 weeks with up to four sessions of booster training at 11 months and a second round of four booster sessions at 35 months.
Overall, 260 participants developed dementia during the study period.
Compared with control, speed training reduced risk for dementia (HR = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.5-0.998) but memory (HR = 0.79, 95% CI, 0.57-1.11) and reasoning training (HR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.56-1.1) did not.
For every additional speed training session, risk for dementia decreased by 10% (unadjusted HR = 0.9; 95% CI, 0.85-0.95).
“We need to further delineate what makes some computerized cognitive training effective, while other types are not,” Edwards said in the release. “We also need to investigate what is the appropriate amount of training to get the best results. The timing of intervention is also important. Existing data indicate speed training is effective among older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment, but it is important to understand this is preventative to lower risk of dementia and is not a treatment for dementia. Our ongoing research is examining this intervention among persons with Parkinson's disease as well as other types of cognitive interventions.” – by Amanda Oldt
Disclosures: Edwards reports financial ties with Posit Science Inc. All other authors report no relevant financial disclosures.