We just came across an article titled Best Computer Brain Games for Senior Citizens to Delay Alzheimer’s Disease. The headline makes little scientific sense-and we observe this confusion often. The article mentions a few programs we have discussed often in this blog, such as Posit Science and MindFit, and others we haven’t because we haven’t found any published science behind, such as Dakim and MyBrainTrainer. And there are more programs: what about Happy Neuron, Lumosity, Spry Learning and Captain’s Log. Not to talk about Nintendo Brain Age, of course.
Some of those programs have real science that, at best, shows how some specific cognitive skills (like memory, or attention, or processing) can be trained and improved-no matter the age. This is a very important message that hasn’t yet percolated through many brains out there: we know today that computer-based software programs can be very useful to train some cognitive skills, better than alternative methods (paper and pencil, classroom-based, just “daily living”).
Now, no single program can make ANY claim that it specifically delays/ prevents Alzheimer’s Disease beyond general statements such as that Learning Slows Physical Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease (hence the imperative for lifelong learning) and that mental stimulation-together with other lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical exercise and stress management, as outlined in these Steps to Improve Your Brain Health- may contribute to build a Cognitive Reserve that may reduce the probability of problems. Programs may be able to [Read more…] about Alzheimer’s Disease: too serious to play with headlines