What’s the one question everyone answers with “yes”?
It’s “are you getting older?”
No one gets younger. It’s impossible. Everyone’s answer must be “yes”.
So this message is for everyone. But it’s especially important if you are over 50 or have friends and relatives in their 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s.
Cut dementia risk
As you get older your risk of dementia increases.
You can start to forget things, especially recent events like where you put your keys, or what you had for breakfast.
You might find it harder to have conversations. Not because you can’t hear as well as you used to, although that certainly does make it harder to be part of a conversation. A sign of dementia can be if it’s getting difficult for you to explain things or you can’t seem to find the right words to express yourself.
These are not the only signs of dementia. Others include depression, personality changes, being less interested in activities, getting confused and losing your sense of direction.
Dementia is not inevitable as you age. And science has now discovered how you can reduce your risk.
A recent analysis of data from a 10 year study showed training your visual processing speed can cut dementia risk by up to half. The study reported a 33% - 48% reduction in dementia risk for people enrolled in a speed of processing training program.
In 1999, the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly Study (ACTIVE) began a gold-standard study funded by the USA National Institute of Health and run by researchers at six universities.
The 10 year ACTIVE study examined the effects of cognitive training - including visual speed training - on the cognitive function and daily lives of older adults.
Since then, researchers have mined the data in the ACTIVE study and recently showed people who trained with a specific speed training exercise could cut their dementia risk.
This was the first time ever that any intervention has been shown to have a significant impact on the risk of dementia.
What is the speed-of-processing exercise used in the study?
It is the computerised Double Decision exercise in Brain HQ.
Double Decision is designed to improve the speed and accuracy with which your brain can process visual information, both at the centre of gaze and on the periphery.
BrainHQ is an adult brain fitness program developed by "the father of brain plasticity", Dr Michael Merzenich.