A new study has found senior citizens who participate in a computer-based training program improved the speed and accuracy of their cognitive function and showed improvement in certain aspects of their memory.
Mayo Clinic researchers had participants work on the computer-based activities in their home for an hour a day, five days a week for eight weeks. The participants, from Minnesota and California, were age 65 or older, with none of the subjects diagnosed with cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer's disease.
At the conclusion of the study, researchers measured their progress by administering a test that had the seniors repeat words and numbers after hearing them once.
"We found that the improvement in these skills was significantly greater in the experimental group - about double," said lead researcher Dr Glenn Smith.
However, the doctor said the results didn't offer insights on preventing Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.
Instead, the research showed it may be possible for older people to improve their brain processing speed.
"Brain processing speed slows as we age. The study indicates that choosing a memory-enhancing approach that focuses on improving brain processing speed and accuracy, rather than memory retention, may be helpful," Smith said.