Study: This Brain Training Resulted in Better Performance and Less Atrophy in the Brain

SAN FRANCISCO, April 30, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new randomized controlled trial   among older adults, with normal cognitive aging, showed that a specific type of cognitive training resulted in improved abilities at untrained cognitive tasks and better maintenance of brain structure than was seen in the control group doing an equal amount of training on computer games. The cognitive training used by the intervention group in the study was the brain health app BrainHQ, made by Posit Science.

Researchers, at study sites in Dallas and Iowa City enrolled 124 older adults with normal aging brains, who were then randomized into either an intervention group using BrainHQ exercises or a control group using computerized causal games. Participants were asked to engage in 42-minute sessions, 5 times per week for 10 weeks, for a total of 35 hours of training.

Participants underwent cognitive testing and brain imaging at the beginning of the trial, at its conclusion, and then six months later. At the conclusion of training, participants in the BrainHQ group showed a significant improvement in the overall cognitive composite score as compared to the control group.

The BrainHQ group also had imaging results showing a significant difference in the maintenance of several areas of brain structure known to diminish with normal aging, as compared to the control group, which displayed expected age-related decreases.

More specifically, the BrainHQ group showed significant maintenance of the caudate volume (rather than the grey matter deterioration typically accompanied by adverse changes in neural activity and functional connectivity seen in cognitive aging and increased Alzheimer’s risk). The researchers also noted significant maintained fractional anisotropy in the left Internal Capsule and left Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus (which typically experience decline in white matter integrity with aging and increased cognitive risk).

Six months after the training, the between group difference still favored the intervention, but were no longer significant. The researchers noted that, due to the Covid pandemic, 25% of participants missed their six-month follow-ups, rendering those results under-powered.

“This study looks at more than just how BrainHQ improves cognitive performance,” said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science. “By including these imaging measures, this study shows how brain training works – by actually rewiring the brain – and shows that these exercises improve the health of brain as a biological system while improving cognitive performance in daily life.

BrainHQ has shown benefits in hundreds of studies. Such benefits include gains in cognition (attention, speed, memory, decision-making), in quality of life (depressive symptoms, confidence and control, health outcomes) and in real-world activities (health outcomes, balance, driving, workplace activities). BrainHQ is offered, without charge, by leading national and 5-star Medicare Advantage plans and by leading medical centers, clinics, and communities. Consumers can try a BrainHQ exercise for free daily at