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Program on Cognitive Training | Coastal Breeze News

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Keith Gibson, director of program services for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Can cognitive training reduce one’s risk of dementia? On June 10, the Alzheimer’s Association will address this topic with “Training the Brain: What Research Tells Us,” a virtual program that will explore the latest advancements in Alzheimer’s and dementia research, including initial findings from the University of South Florida’s Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training (PACT) study.

The program will feature guest speaker Jennifer O’Brien, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at USF who, as part of the study, has been researching the overall effects of brain-training exercises on cognitive health.

“Specific cognitive training exercises can have a positive impact on daily tasks like driving, protect against depression and result in better health-related quality of life,” O’Brien said. “Most impressively, these exercises have also been shown to protect against cognitive impairment or dementia. It is important for older adults to include targeted cognitive training as part of a healthy lifestyle to protect against dementia.”

From the Alzheimer’s Association, speakers will include Keith Gibson, director of program services, and Carla Moseley, volunteer community educator, who will share a presentation on “Healthy Living for the Brain and Body.”

Jennifer O’Brien, Ph.D.

“From cognitive training to simple lifestyle changes like exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet, studies have indicated that there are ways to reduce your risk of developing dementia,” Gibson said. “As we have yet to discover an effective treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s disease, it is crucial that we stay abreast of the latest research and how those findings can help everyone to improve their cognitive health.”

More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. In Florida alone, there are 580,000 people currently battling the disease, as well as more than half a million family members and friends who are providing them with daily care.

“Training the Brain: What Research Tells Us” will begin at 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 10. Register by calling the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at (800) 272-3900 or by visiting bit.ly/TrainingTheBrain. 

For additional free programming from the Alzheimer’s Association, visit www.alzprogramsanytime.org. To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association, visit www.alz.org.