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Brain fitness program improved cognition and brain size

November 19, 2015
by Nicole Stempak, Associate Editor
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Researchers were able to improve cognition and grow the hippocampus, part of the brain that plays a role in memory, in seniors with mild cognitive impairment.

“To my knowledge, it is the first and only program that has been shown to enhance cognitive function and grow the volume of the hippocampus,” says Mijid Fotuhi, MD, PhD, lead author, chairman of the NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Center and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School told Medscape Medical News. “This program can be replicated in any clinical setting with access to integrated medical practice where a group of neurologists, psychologists, sleep specialists, dieticians, and exercise physiologists can work together as a unified team.”

Fotuhi and his team tested the effectiveness of an intensive multidisciplinary brain fitness programs in 127 adults with mild cognitive impairment not caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Participants completed a full medical and neurologic evaluation before starting the 12-week, nine-step program.

Eighty-four percent of participants who completed the program saw statistically significant improvements in at least three of the 10 areas of the neurological evaluation defined as “high impact.” MRIs conducted in 17 participants after the program found 65 percent saw a reversal of hippocampal atrophy or growth.

The study was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2015.

Find the abstract here.

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