Cognitive training helps against mental health decline in older adults: Study
It has been estimated that by 2050 the number of people over the age of 65 will be increased to 1.1 billion worldwide and out of that 1.1 billion, 37 million people will suffer from dementia. Research has already shown that mental activity can reduce a person's risk of dementia but the effect of mental training on healthy people is less understood.
The people who wanted to participate in the trial had to be between the ages of 65 to 75 and have well enough eyesight, hearing and communication skills so that they could complete the training.
The training sessions were for an hour, twice a week for three months and the participants were given homework. Training included a multi-approach system tackling memory, reasoning, problem-solving, map reading, handicrafts, health education and exercise, or focussing on reasoning only. The effect of booster training, provided six months later, was also tested.
Compared to the control group, who received no training, both levels of cognitive training improved mental ability, although the multifaceted training had more of a long term effect. The more detailed training also improved memory, even when measured a year later and booster training had an additional improvement on mental ability scores, said Chunbo Li, the lead researcher.
This research shows that cognitive training therapy may prevent mental decline amongst healthy older people and help them to continue independent living longer in their advancing years.