Mountain of Evidence on Brain Training Keeps Growing

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The mountain of evidence on the effectiveness on plasticity-based computerized brain training kept growing in 2022, despite the challenges of conducting research during the COVID pandemic, according to Posit Science, the maker of the BrainHQ online brain fitness program.

BrainHQ exercises and assessments were the subject of more than 70 scientific and medical journal articles in 2022, including more than three dozen studies of BrainHQ exercises and assessments, as well as numerous review articles and editorials.

“We work with a global network of independent researchers who keep advancing our understanding of gains in health and performance made possible through BrainHQ,” said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science. “In 2022, many new studies showed significant gains from BrainHQ exercises in normal aging and in clinical conditions.”

One clear trend from 2022 is that BrainHQ is increasingly being successfully deployed at research centers in combination with other interventions, in a multi-modal approach.

For example, researchers combined BrainHQ with transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tCDS) in studies of older adults, showing strengthened: predictability of working memory responsiveness; resting state frontoparietal control network; responsiveness to speed and divided attention exercises; functional connectivity of the frontoparietal control network; and functional neural correlates related to such exercises; as well as reduction of depressive symptoms.

In other multimodal studies: BrainHQ was combined with functional skill training of both healthy older adults and those with cognitive impairment, showing gains across cognitive domains; BrainHQ was combined with mindfulness training in a preliminary study of patients with HIV-Associated Neurological Decline, showing sustained gains; and BrainHQ combined with aerobic exercise in a study of people with first episodes of schizophrenia, showed improvements in cognitive and functional outcomes.

In a study among patients with mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), researchers tested Goal Management Training (GMT) against GMT combined with BrainHQ, reporting no significant impact from GMT alone, but a large effect when combined with BrainHQ.

Another study of patients with TBI found the BrainHQ produced moderate-to-large gains in both objective and subjective cognitive measures, as compared to a control.

Several studies were conducted in older adults with serious cognitive decline, such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease. Those studies included: a single-arm open-label pilot using the Bredesen multi-modal protocol showing gains across a large number of physical and functional measures; a randomized control trial among patients with amnestic MCI, showing gains in measures of speed, attention, memory and connectivity; and a study of the components of the Mayo Clinic’s multi-modal HABIT protocol, showing the contribution of BrainHQ.

In studies of BrainHQ in people with schizophrenia, researchers found improved emotional processing and social cognition; improved gamma-band oscillations; and decreased aggression.

A study among stroke patients compared traditional rehabilitation to BrainHQ, reporting significantly greater improvements from BrainHQ in memory, executive function, anxiety, depression, and quality of life.

There were also studies of BrainHQ computerized assessments showing positive results, including remote assessment of cardiovascular risk; evaluating network vulnerability in Alzheimer’s disease; and identifying areas of cognitive decline that might be addressed in patients with chemobrain.

“A review of brain games and exercises targeting older adults published in 2017 in Neuropsychology Review found the lion’s share of commercially-available brain exercises targeting older adults had zero evidence of efficacy, and that only one product, BrainHQ, had multiple high quality studies,” Dr. Mahncke noted. “Here we are five years later, and there are hundreds of peer-reviewed articles on the benefits of BrainHQ.”

Benefits shown in studies of BrainHQ include significant gains in standard measures of cognition (attention, processing speed, memory, decision making), in standard measures of quality of life (depressive symptoms, confidence and control, safety, health-related quality of life) and in real-world measures (health outcomes, balance, driving, hearing, work).

BrainHQ offers dozens of computerized exercises driven by smart algorithms to monitor progress and design a personalized brain exercise regimen for each user. BrainHQ is now offered, without charge, as a benefit 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


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