Cognitive training can help in ADLs, study finds

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Older adults who participate in mental exercise programs reported less difficulty with activities of daily living, according to a new study. Researchers reported that benefits were still apparent as long as 10 years after training took place.

Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly, or ACTIVE, is the first study to tie cognitive training to benefits in activities in everyday living, rather than just mental skills, according to Frederick W. Unverzagt, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine and an ACTIVE study investigators.

All of the 2,832 people in the study lived independently, and were divided into groups that received either memory training, reasoning training or speed training. A control group received no training.

Results were published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.