The Scientific Basis of our Brain Fitness Program
Published in the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (2016) , about our 12-week Brain Fitness Program
Published in Nature Reviews Neurology (2012), about how we can grow the memory part of our brain
Published in Nature Reviews Neurology (2009) , about how late-life memory loss has many different treatable etiologies
Brain Fitness Program
The Brain Fitness Program consists of a comprehensive brain health assessment followed by a series of interventions designed to optimize memory and overall cognitive performance.
Over a period of 12 weeks, patients first undergo a detailed neurological evaluation to determine all of the potential causes for cognitive deficits and brain atrophy, from head to toe, followed by a series of tests. They then start an intensive set of treatment sessions that enhance cognitive function, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and focus on lifestyle factors that are shown to be critical for prevention of late-life dementia.
The program consists of nine important interventions, starting with patient’s sense of “purpose in life” and their desire for peak brain performance in order to achieve a personal goal:
- Setting specific goals for patient’s 12-week program, based on his/her “purpose” in life and brain performance expectations
- Fitness training and close monitoring to ensure progress
- Neurofeedback training
- Encouragement to reduce stress
- Meditation training
- Cognitive Skills Training
- Nutrition information for Mediterranean diet and taking omega-3 supplements (e.g. algal-DHA 900 mg/day)
- Medical treatment of insomnia, sleep apnea, vitamin B12 or D deficiency, and depression, as needed
- Emphasis on brain training home assignments (“homework”), with increasing difficulty (e.g. memorizing a list of 100 items)
The manuscript with results from patients who completed the Brain Fitness Program was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington DC, on July 18th, 2015. Below are the figures from this manuscript. They show that 84% of patients experienced high-impact improvements in their cognitive function, 97% had high-impact or moderate-impact improvements in their brain wave normalization. Among those who had before-and-after brain MRIs, 65% had remarkable reversal of atrophy (12%) or actual growth (53%) in the size of their hippocampus.
The cognitive results in one of the patients who completed the Brain Fitness Program shows remarkable improvements in her executive function, memory, and language.
Patient’s baseline cognitive function is shown as percentile compared to others of her age and gender. Post-program cognitive test showed significant improvements in 9 of the 10 cognitive tests, with regards to executive function, memory, and language. The only cognitive domain that did not improve was list-learning delayed recall (not shown); it remained unchanged from baseline.
Brain mapping (Q-EEG) results in one of the patients who completed the Brain Fitness Program shows significant reduction (reduced red areas) in abnormally slow (theta) brain wave activity.
Q-EEG detects changes in a patient’s brain activity and compares it with a normative set of data. Statistically significant higher than normal or lower than normal EEG activities are shown in red or blue colors, respectively. Post-program Q-EEG (B) in this patient showed significant improvement toward normal (46%) from baseline (A), through a reduction in excessive levels of slow theta waves in her right temporal lobe.
MRI results in one of the patients who completed the Brain Fitness Program shows significant enlargement in the size of hippocampus.
Post-program MRI with NeuroQuant showed an 8.6% growth in the volume of the hippocampus (HC). (A1): Baseline Brain MRI. (B1): Post-program Brain MRI. (A2): Higher magnification of baseline hippocampal volume. (B2): Higher magnification of the post-program hippocampal volume.