Brain training to prevent dementia


Queensland researchers believe they may be able to delay the onset of dementia. They’re even hoping that ultimately they can prevent it.

Tomson Calland reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Dementia costs Australia more than 15 billion a year.

That’s expected to more than double by 2056.

Researchers believe they have a non-drug solution literally re-training the brain.

Associate Professor Paul Dux, UQ researcher: “At the moment what we’re trying to do is find interventions that improve cognitive function as people age.”

They use small electric currents to stimulate parts of the brain, while patients participate in intense mental exercises.

Brain training is already a booming industry in the U.S.

Associate Professor Paul Dux, UQ researcher: “I mean the brain training industry in the US is worth approximately $5 billion.”

With the right consultation, brain stimulation could be an easy and more economically viable alternative to current pharmaceutical treatments.

Associate Professor Paul Dux, UQ researcher: “You can do it at home. You could do it at home and indeed they are not overly expensive relative to other techniques.”

Thirty per cent of adults over the age of 65 will face cognitive decline increasing their risk of dementia.

But Dr Dux and his team are confident in results so far and urge more adults between the age of 60 to 75 to take part in their research.

Tomson Calland, QUT News.