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USF researcher discusses study looking at using brain games to delay dementia

A colored magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain of a 76-year-old patient with dementia shows the brain has atrophied and the dark brown fluid-filled spaces have become enlarged.
Zephyr
/
Science Source
A colored magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain of a 76-year-old patient with dementia shows the brain has atrophied and the dark brown fluid-filled spaces have become enlarged.

Jerri Edwards, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, talks about the study.

Can solving specially designed brain games on a computer or tablet reduce the chances of developing dementia, like Alzheimer’s, or delay the loss of function associated with the disease and other forms of dementia?

That is the primary question being tested by researchers at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded USF total expected funds of $44.4 million over the next five years to continue and expand the study, called Preventing Alzheimer's with Cognitive Training or PACT.
Earlier stages of the study have demonstrated promising results. For instance, healthy older adults who have received this targeted computerized training had a 29% lower risk of dementia after 10 years, and those completing additional training were 48% less likely to show signs of dementia 10 years later.
In this interview with WGCU's Gulf Coast Life, Jerri Edwards, principal investigator for the study, talks about the study. Edwards is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

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Click here to learn more about the study and learn how to become a participant, or call Dr. Edwards' lab at 813-974-6703.

Click here to hear our interview with Dr. Edwards about an earlier stage of the PACT study back in 2019.

Copyright 2022 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University.