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Study suggests cognitive decline and dementia may be preventable and reversible

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A new study suggests that cognitive decline and dementia may be preventable and reversible.

The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found an improvement in grey matter volume and slow hippocampal volume loss following a cognitive training for patients with dementia.

Researchers analysed 25 patients with dementia or mild cognitive impairment using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. This is used to evaluate the inflammation, chronic infection, symbiosis, insulin resistance, vascular disease, nutrient deficiency, toxins, and other biochemical parameters associated with cognitive decline.

Patients were treated for nine months with a personalised, precision medicine protocol and with cognition being assessed at months three, six, and nine. For the cognitive training portion of the treatment, the study used computerised brain exercises from the BrainHQ app, developed by Posit Science.

The results found a 76 per cent cognitive improvement of which 84 per cent had gains on the Neurocognitive Index.

“Whilst most studies of cognition look at the effect of a single type of treatment, this study is exciting because it represents a more 21st century, personalised approach to treatment,” said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science. “The researchers extensively tested participants, and then recommended a personalised approach for each one by applying a set protocol to the baseline test results. In each case, the researchers recommended a minimum of 15 minutes of daily training with BrainHQ, which quickly personalises to each user.”

“This study complements a recent surge in multimodal dementia prevention studies,” he added.

“Typically those studies evaluate the combined impact on dementia risk of a set programmes in brain exercise, physical exercise, and anti-inflammatory diet. For example, such an approach is being used in the Worldwide FINGER Trials, in which BrainHQ is often the brain exercise component. This trial goes further by using extensive testing and a set protocol to tailor the elements of the treatment to each patient.

“These are promising results in a single-arm proof of concept trial that should lead to a larger, randomised controlled trial. This study builds on the 20 prior publications on BrainHQ in pre-dementia conditions and the two prior dementia prevention studies (showing reductions in dementia risk and/or incidence).

“We look forward to working with regulators, mayors, and providers to make this type of solution more widely available,” Dr. Mahncke concluded. 

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