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O1-08-03: Cross-training of auditory and visual brain training software program improves cognition and alters plasma BDNF levels in healthy older adults

Shah, T., Verdile, G., Sohrabi, H.ORCID: 0000-0001-8017-8682 and Martins, R. (2012) O1-08-03: Cross-training of auditory and visual brain training software program improves cognition and alters plasma BDNF levels in healthy older adults. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 8 (4S Pt.3). P99.

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Background: Previous research demonstrates that brain training improves cognition based on the principles of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. However, changes in blood biomarkers such as plasma brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) following cognitive stimulation (CS) in healthy elderly is yet to be demonstrated.We examined cross training effects of auditory and visual brain training software programs on cognition and on plasma BDNF in the elderly. Methods: 76 healthy community‐dwelling adults (MMSE‐24) aged 58 to 82 years were randomized into CS and a control group. The intervention included use of an auditory and visual computerized software program( Posit Science, USA) for 5 days/week for 60 minutes for 16 weeks.25 participants received the visual software program (CS1 group) for the first 8 weeks of the intervention followed by the auditory software program for the last 8 weeks and vice versa for next 25 participants (CS2 group). All individuals APOE genotyped; analysed for plasma BDNF and underwent neuropsychological assessments including Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) and Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT) at baseline, 8 weeks and 16 weeks post intervention. Results: At 8 weeks following training there was significant improvement in all three groups on free (CS1, p>.000; CS2, P = .001, control, P = .010), immediate(CS1,p>.008 CS2,P = .005, control, P = .010) and delayed recall (CS1, p>.000; CS2, P=.020, control, P=.015). PlasmaBNDF levels did not significantly change from baseline in any of the groups. There was significant improvement in COWAT in CS1 (P =.044) and CS2 (P =.001) groups but not in the control group (P =.607). Following 16 weeks of training, there was significant improvement in free (P = .000, immediate (P = .002) and delayed recall (P = .001) in the CS2 group only. This was associated with a reduction in BDNF levels (P = .041). Conclusions: Our analysis demonstrates that 16 weeks of brain training improves cognition from baseline. Auditory stimulation led to a trend towards and increase in plasma BDNF levels, but when followed by visual stimulation, levels were significantly reduced. This is the first study to investigate the impact of CS on cognition and plasma BDNF levels. Although further large sample cross training trials are required, this study has implications in understanding how CS improves cognition.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2012 The Alzheimer's Association
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