‘Brain training’ app found to improve memory in people with mild cognitive impairment

A ‘brain training’ game could help improve the memory of patients in the very earliest stages of dementia, suggests a new study. |  International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. | via ScienceDaily

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Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a memory game app, ‘Game Show’,  and have tested its effects on cognition and motivation in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).

The researchers randomly assigned forty-two patients with amnestic MCI to either the cognitive training or control group. Participants in the cognitive training group played the memory game for a total of eight one-hour sessions over a four-week period; participants in the control group continued their clinic visits as usual.

The results showed that patients who played the game made around a third fewer errors, needed fewer trials and improved their memory score by around 40%, showing that they had correctly remembered the locations of more information at the first attempt on a test of episodic memory.

In addition, participants in the cognitive training group indicated that they enjoyed playing the game and were motivated to continue playing across the eight hours of cognitive training. Their confidence and subjective memory also increased with gameplay. The researchers say that this demonstrates that games can help maximise engagement with cognitive training.

The findings of the study were published this month in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology suggests

Read more on this story via ScienceDaily and at NHS Choices

Full reference:
Savulich, G et al. Cognitive Training Using a Novel Memory Game on an iPad in Patients with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI). International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, published online July 2nd 2017

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