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Proper memory training slows down brain aging

A study by neuroscientists at the University of Michigan compares two forms of cognitive training that help people with mild cognitive impairment improve memory. Such training can slow down the degradation of the brain and in some cases prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study conducted by scientists from the University of Michigan and the Medical College of Pennsylvania compared two approaches to recovery in patients with an early form of memory loss.

Scientists have called one approach mnemonic training. An example of such an exercise is well known. To remember the colors of the rainbow, it is enough to remember the phrase “Every Hunter Wants To Know Where The Pheasant Is Sitting.” Each capital letter is the first letter of the word naming the color. K — red, O — orange, etc. The second approach is a rehearsal training (repeated repetition), that is, if a person needs to remember the colors of the rainbow, he repeats them several times (actually many times).: Red, Orange, Yellow, etc. And again first to the end.

The experiment involved patients with mild cognitive impairment. Such disorders sometimes lead to Alzheimer’s disease at a later stage, and sometimes they do not. Scientists have tried to understand what types of training reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease.

Both training strategies have shown that memory improves.

What happens to the brain

“Our study shows that we can help people with mild cognitive impairment improve memory, but different approaches to cognitive training involve the brain in different ways,” said lead author Benjamin Hampstead, professor of psychiatry at the Virginia Health System, Ann Arbor.

Mnemonic training has increased activity in precisely those areas of the brain that are often affected by Alzheimer’s disease. On the contrary, in those who underwent training with multiple repetitions, brain activity in these areas decreased.

Scientists suggest that it is the mnemonic approach that is most productive not only for restoring memory, but also for slowing down the processes that lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists believe that cognitive learning will become increasingly important. It will be used together with new pharmacological methods of treating patients with neurodegenerative disorders.


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