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Researchers explore the veracity of brain training claims

Australian researchers have put claims made by the companies behind brain training programs to the test and have found some may not be backed up by trials into their effectiveness.

Researchers from Edith Cowan University examined the scientific claims made by 18 companies that produce brain training programs. They found that 11 had no clinical trials or empirical evidence indicating they were effective.

Still, lead researcher professor Ralph Martins from the School of Medical and Health Sciences said current evidence indicates that at least some of the commercially available brain training programs can assist in promoting healthy brain aging.

Two in particular – BrainHQ and Cognifit – were found to have at least two well-designed randomised controlled trials demonstrating their effectiveness.

Study co-author Dr Tejal Shah said some of the other programs explored in the study may also be effective but the evidence is not there yet.

Aged Care Insite sat down with Shah to find out what claims companies made surrounding their products and what health professionals should say to people interested in brain training.

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