Journal of the American Medical Association 13th November 2002
Saturday, November 16, 2002
Susan Aldridge, PhD
Cognitive training can slow the process of cognitive decline significantly, according to a new study. Memory, problem solving and speed of processing information are the main cognitive abilities which affect someone's ability to live independently. So researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, US, sought to establish whether training in these skills would help a group of older people.
A sample of 2,832 people aged between 65 and 94 were given training in memory, reasoning (which helps with solving problems) and also speed of retrieving information. A four sub-group acted as a control. Training was successful in that it appeared to preserve cognitive ability over the two years of the study. The researchers say this means that age-related cognitive decline was therefore slowed.
However, there was no obvious impact of the training on the ability to live independently. It may be that these advantages would emerge later on in the study, when those who did not have the training started to enter a period of cognitive decline.
Source Journal of the American Medical Association 13th November 2002