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Posit Science Corporation Study Demonstrates Mindful Approach to Aging


10/18/2007 7:25:41 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Posit Science Corporation announced today that enrollment has completed in a clinical trial of an innovative computerized training program designed to enhance memory. The IMPACT ("Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training") study has now enrolled more than five hundred adults aged 65+ seeking to improve their cognitive health and contribute to scientific research.

Principal Investigators for the IMPACT trial are Elizabeth Zelinski, PhD, of the University of Southern California and Glenn Smith, PhD, Mayo Clinic. The trial involves measuring the effects of a cognitive training program -- the Brain Fitness Program on memory. Based on the fundamental principles of brain plasticity, the Brain Fitness Program is designed to address the root causes of age-related cognitive decline. It uses adaptive exercises that target auditory and language systems to drive generalized improvements in cognition. The exercises are designed to improve the speed and accuracy of information processing in the brain, and engage the brain's neuromodulatory systems, including attention and reward, that contribute to learning and memory. This approach, described as "SAAGE" -- for speed, accuracy, adaptivity, generalization, and engagement of neuromodulation -- represents an exclusive approach to cognitive training that goes far beyond general cognitive stimulation.

The IMPACT trial compares the benefits of the Brain Fitness Program to a computer-based learning control matched for computer usage and training intensity. It was chosen to represent current clinical recommendations regarding "staying cognitively active." Once completed, the IMPACT study will represent the first large-scale randomized controlled trial of a non-invasive cognitive intervention for aging adults that is available for widespread, individual use. In addition to using standardized neuropsychological tests to assess training-related changes in memory, the IMPACT study will also measure the improvements in cognitive abilities directly reported by study participants themselves.

According to a report commissioned by the National Institute on Aging, the U.S. population of adults 65+ will double in size within the next 25 years. By 2030, almost 1 in 5 Americans -- approximately 72 million people -- will be 65 years or older. Today's older Americans are much different from their predecessors -- they live longer, have lower disability rates, demand higher levels of healthcare, and are significantly more proactive in identifying, evaluating, and providing for their own health -- both physical and cognitive.

"Not all programs positioned as brain training are alike," says Principal Investigator Dr. Elizabeth Zelinski of the Andrus Gerontology Center at USC. "The Brain Fitness Program is the first widely available program to go beyond train-to-the-task approach and really address the underlying brain functions that scientists believe lead to changes in memory with age." The hope is that the Brain Fitness Program will demonstrate improvements in standard clinical tests of memory, but also show that individuals feel more vital and confident after use, says Zelinski. "Our obligation, as cognitive psychologists, is to really put these programs to the test and evaluate their efficacy," continues Zelinski. "The implications for a truly effective brain fitness training program on the cognitive health of seniors would be enormous."

About Posit Science

Posit Science Corporation develops science-based brain health programs. The company works with more than 50 brain scientists from leading universities around the world to create training programs that enhance cognitive performance. Its assessments and exercises are based on neuroplasticity the -- brain's ability to "rewire" through intensive, repetitive and progressively challenging activity. The company's Brain Fitness Program is distributed without charge by Humana to its Medicare Advantage members, is licensed to more than 100 retirement communities nationwide, is sold online and by Authorized Providers. Posit Science has received several grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Posit Science was named "Best Small Company" by the American Society on Aging, was named "Best Fitness Initiative" by the Consumer Health World Conference and was selected as one of the "medical breakthroughs of the year" by CNBC. For more information visit http://www.PositScience.com or call 800.514.3975.

CONTACT: Peggy Jara, +1-415-568-3526, cell, +1-510-333-1160, or Robbi
Peele, +1-415-568-3558, cell, +1-415-596-7929, both of Posit Science
Corporation

Web site: http://www.positscience.com/


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