Mental Decline Can Be Determined By Your Gait
CogniFit is the primary cognitive training tool being used in an innovative study aimed at improving gait through executive function training.
Gait, or how you walk, shows all levels of nervous system functions. Observing gait can be highly informative for psychiatric and neurologic disorders. If gait slows down or walking becomes erratic it can indicate cognitive impairments even later in the future. These symptoms have been associated with later appearances of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
This relationship between gait and cognition has been under investigation for years. Specifically, Holtzer, professor of neurology at Albert Einstein and Yeshiva University and Verghese, director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain have been collaborating since 2011, studying a sample of 600 elderly residents. They found that executive function, in the frontal lobe, is associated with complex planning which is critical when walking while talking.
Another study by Yogev, Hausdorff, and Giladi, established that levels of activation in the frontal lobe when walking and talking is a good predictor of future falls.
A 2010 pilot study involving cognitive processes and gait, established that participants who received intervention and played brain games showed more improvement in walking and walking while talking. However, in this study, the control group did not play any games, opening the scientific window for other studies to figure out the role of cognitive brain training programs.
“We are treating walking abilities as an extension of brain function” Dr. Verghese.
Holtzer and Verghese decided that the main aim of their study is to boost gait by improving executive function through testing the effect of a computerized cognitive training program.
Up to this day, researchers have 120 participants but estimate to reach 420 total participants. Of these participants, half will be playing brain games focused on training executive functions by CogniFit, leader in cognitive training, and the other half will also play CogniFit brain games, however, different games since they are considered placebos because they don’t stimulate the same cognitive processes as the ones in the intervention group.
The scientists measure each of the participant’s gait before they start the eight weeks of training. They’ll do so again post-intervention, as well as six and 12 months later, to see if any effects are durable. The structure of the study will be three times a week for eight weeks the participants will play computerized brain games for 45 minutes while doctors’ will test their brain activity during the process.
CogniFit has, once again, a lead role in neuroscience and in trying to help prevent health risks and identify seniors at risk. CogniFit personalized brain training program uses advanced algorithms to automatically adjust difficulty and tailor games to the user’s cognitive level and researcher’s needs. This online brain training program from CogniFit can be used by children, adults, and seniors you just have to register here.
This online brain training program from CogniFit can be used to improve brain health, recover from brain damage affecting cognitive skills, or help the healthy population maintain cognitive resources.
“One of the issues has been if you train someone to do a memory test, they appear to improve on memory, but not anything else, which is known as a near transfer” – Dr. Verghese
Consequently, these researchers, are hoping for a far transfer effect, where playing these brain games will not only improve their cognitive processes but it will improve their gait as well.
This post is also available in: French