‘Game show’-like app helps slow dementia onset
A brain training computer game developed by British neuroscientists has been proved able to improve the memory of patients in the very earliest stages of dementia and could help such patients avert some symptoms of cognitive decline.
Developers of the "game show"-like app found that patients who played the game over a period of a month had around a 40 percent improvement in their memory scores.
Human brain scan. /VCG Photo

Human brain scan. /VCG Photo

"We hope to extend these findings in future studies of healthy ageing and mild Alzheimer's disease," said George Savulich, who led the study at Cambridge University.
The World Health Organization says some 47.5 million people had dementia in 2015, made it a huge global health problem. And the number is rising dramatically as life expectancy increases and societies age. 
The condition is irreversible and there are few drugs that can ease the symptoms, which include declining memory, thinking, behavior, navigational and spatial skills and the gradual loss of ability to perform everyday tasks.
Dementia is a huge global health problem. /VCG Photo

Dementia is a huge global health problem. /VCG Photo

Publishing his results in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Savulich said that as well as improving their memory scores in the game, patients who played the game retained more complex visual information than those who didn't.
Independent experts said the study's findings were encouraging, but that the app needed to be tested against other forms of brain training in trials involving more people.
"While this type of brain training will not ultimately be able to prevent or cure memory diseases like dementia, it is a promising way to improve early memory symptoms of the disease," said Tara Spires-Jones of the University of Edinburgh.
(Source: Reuters)