I love ‘I told you so’ moments…Brain games don’t do shit.
(this is totally going to come back and bite me in the ass though)
A number of months ago, I made a claim that paying for brain games was a waste of money. I got jumped on pretty hard for that claim – even though there isn’t much evidence of their benefits except for perform the brain game itself better after a lot of practice (and maybe a couple other semi-related ones). I’ve been vindicated now by a meta-analysis of the relevant literature by Peter Snyder of the Brown med school.
Check this out from the press release:
Through a systematic review of literature using established techniques to analyze randomized controlled trials of cognitive interventions in the healthy elderly, the researchers found a very small number of studies that met their criteria. What studies did meet their criteria they found to be limited in their methodologies or were often lacking in follow-up. Based on this quantitative literature review, called a meta-analysis, they concluded that there was no evidence indicating that structured cognitive intervention programs had an impact on the progression of dementia in the healthy elderly population.
And this snippit hinting at my opinions of some of the brain training crowd (dishonest business people taking advantage of the elderly).
Snyder and the researchers conclude, “Evidence-based information regarding cognitive intervention in healthy elderly needs to be gathered and presented clearly to both the scientific community and our vulnerable elderly population. More random clinical trials in cognitive training need to be conducted with sufficient follow-up time that can actually measure changes in daily functioning. Only in that way will we know if such exercises are effective in slowing the progress of MCI.”
Anyway… check out the press release and let me know what you think.