More people are involved in cognitive training thanks to smartphone apps.
Estimated $ 1.9 billion was spent on apps for brain health and exercise last year, a significant increase over $ 475 million in 2012, as more people focus on keeping their minds eager for their age, reported research firm SharpBrains . Several apps have been created to help combat cognitive decline and prevent or slow dementia.
Although several apps are being downloaded, research has definitely not shown them as effective.
"There will be a study showing some benefit, but then there will be another study that shows no benefit," says neurologist Dan Press, who also runs the cognitive neurology unit in Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, for MarketWatch.
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9659006] Sarah Lenz Lock, chief executive of the Global Council for Brain Health, said that cognitive training applications show promise, but said people "should not expect to be a magic bullet."
Researchers said the main way to maintain and improve brain function is to make a combination of brain training, keeping a healthy diet and exercise routine and monitoring vascular health, MarketWatch reported. A study of more than 1,200 people aged 60-77 in Finland showed that those who received health tips and enrolled in programs to monitor their exercise, brain training, cardiovascular risk and nutrition, had an overall better cognitive function after two years.
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Other studies showed that those who engaged in specific brain training activities improved their performance on specific tasks and protected them from depression.