Can brain training prevent Alzheimer’s disease? A new study is exploring this possibility. The Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training (PACT) study will investigate whether computerized brain training can reduce the risk of dementia.
“There is an urgent need to intervene to curb the increasing prevalence of dementia in our society,” said Jerri Edwards, Ph.D., PACT USF site a principal investigator (PI) of the NIH grant and University of South Florida site PI and a professor at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “Strong preliminary data from more than 18 randomized clinical trials show that a particular type of computerized cognitive training improves cognition and may reduce dementia risk.”
In fact, research has shown that brain training may also:
The study is available at the University of South Florida, the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in both Phoenix and Tucson, and other locations nationwide including the University of North Florida, University of Florida, Clemson University and Duke University.
To qualify, participants must be 65 years of age or older, have no neurological disorders, have not had a stroke or brain injury, and have not been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
Participants will initially complete two in-person study visits. The remainder of the computerized training exercises will be done in the comfort of their own homes or at locations with access to public computers and the internet. Participants will return for a third in-person visit after three years.
The outcome of this study may be significant. An intervention that delays the onset of dementia by even just one year would have a positive impact on public health, from fewer people living with the disease and substantially reducing health care costs.