Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain fitness programs may help frail elderly walk faster, study suggests

Date:
August 10, 2010
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Summary:
Computerized brain fitness programs are known to help seniors improve their memory and focus. Now a new study has found preliminary evidence that such programs may help frail seniors walk faster, potentially preventing disability and improving quality of life.

Computerized brain fitness programs are known to help seniors improve their memory and focus. 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Brain fitness programs may help frail elderly walk faster, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810151028.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. (2010, August 10). Brain fitness programs may help frail elderly walk faster, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810151028.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Brain fitness programs may help frail elderly walk faster, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810151028.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins