Now scientists have given one more reason, why you should do a daily crossword or Sudoku puzzle or even any brain exercise as they reduce risks of the degenerative brain disease. The researchers have found that exercising the white stuff can stave off dementia but equally important is the type of brain training programme we chose.
11 sessions of speed processing helped
According to the research if one undergoes just 11 sessions of speed processing, a special technique, it could help cut the chances of developing the disease - by almost fifty per cent, in older patients in particularly. Speed processing is how quickly a person carries automatic or simple cognitive tasks and measured usually under time pressure. And every time, each such exercise could cut the risk by 8 per cent.
Training means higher levels of attention
According to the study, older patients doing 11 sessions of a specific brain training exercise could cut the risk by almost 48 per cent. Those, who complete the speed processing training have higher levels of attention besides reduction in depression symptoms, better driving ability and improved functional performance. However, the experts did not find reasoning training and memory having any benefits in preventing dementia.
But not all braining training work
According to the lead researcher Dr Jerri Edwards, not all braining training work, some do and said: 'The mistake some people make is thinking that all brain training is the same. Lumping all brain training together is like trying to determine the effectiveness of antibiotics by looking at the universe of all pills, and including sugar pills and dietary supplements in that analysis.'
Researchers looked at 50 speed processing studies
Researchers looked at over 50 speed processing training studies. Finding from ACTIVE study were also utilised which tested cognitive training programs effects on 2,832 older adults, who were healthy and aged between 65 and 94. Three groups were formed who received training in speed-of-processing. One of the group received training for reasoning, one for memory improvement and the last computerized training. Visual perception was emphasised in the speed training, where the individuals were told to identify objects on a screen. With every correct answer, the programme got harder.
Scientists looked into the changes
For five weeks, participants got 10 one-hour training sessions in a classroom. After the original training, some of the participants were also given four additional 'booster' sessions one year, and four more two years after that. After the training, to investigate, how the exercise affected participants, the scientists looked into the functional and cognitive changes immediately and after intervals of one, two, three, five and ten years.