Now, a study led by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has found preliminary evidence that such programs may help frail seniors walk faster, potentially preventing disability and improving quality of life. Results appear in the July 19 online edition of the Journal of Gerontology.
The researchers recruited 20 frail seniors (aged 70 or older) who were sedentary (exercised once a week or less) and walked slowly (a speed of one meter per second or less). Ten of the seniors (the intervention group) participated in the Mindfit brain fitness program three times weekly for eight weeks, with each training session lasting from 45 to 60 minutes. During the sessions, they carried out tasks aimed at sharpening cognitive abilities such as focusing, planning, organizing and problem solving. The other 10 seniors constituted the control group.
Compared with their speeds at the start of the study, the 10 seniors in the intervention group improved their normal-walking velocity, although the gain was not statistically significant. For walking while talking – which requires considerably more concentration than normal walking – the seniors who took computer training notably improved compared with their initial speeds. By contrast, no improvement in walking speed was observed for the control group.
"This was a small study – we're now preparing to do a larger clinical trial – but the results suggest that brain fitness programs show promise for helping the frail elderly walk better," says lead author Joe Verghese, M.D., professor in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and the Murray D. Gross Memorial Faculty Scholar in Gerontology at Einstein.
The findings, if duplicated in a larger study, could have important implications since the frail elderly are often in poor health and unable to participate in exercises that build strength and improve balance. Intervening through brain fitness programs could provide a useful alternative.
Lynne Hoppe | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy