Delaying Dementia Could Save Millions – Evidence & Hope from SMARTfit study

What if we could delay or substantially slow the progression of dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment, increasing quality of life as we age and saving millions in the cost of care for individuals and businesses?

A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity offers evidence and hope.  MCI and Dementia deplete not only cognitive function but also physical function and the ability of the brain and body to work effectively together.  The University of Buffalo study, done in collaboration with the William-Emslie Family YMCA in Buffalo New York, studied the impact of SMARTfit’s gamified dual-task training technology and programming on a group of older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

“Our communities have an opportunity to support the development and adoption of evidence-based programs to help older adults preserve cognition and physical function,” concluded the study’s authors.  That includes local community centers, senior centers, YMCAs, JCCs, Health Clubs, plus active aging and senior housing communities across the country.

“I will admit, 12 weeks ago my friends dragged me to that place [the YMCA]. I did not want to carry that 6 lb. ball all over the place or stand on one foot, looking like a fool. But halfway through the first class, I was too busy laughing, sweating, and playing with my friends to think about any of that. And now, 12 weeks later, I can stand on one foot without being afraid of falling, I can walk farther than I could five years ago, and I have a new group of friends who laugh with me and support me“. – Study Participant.

It’s been said that the brain, and specifically executive function, is the conductor of the human orchestra.  SMARTfit’s programming trains the brain to improve executive function, the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.  These skills, which most of us take for granted, are affected by aging, and more severely by MCI and dementia.

SMARTfit training requires doing a physical and a cognitive task at the same time.  Also known as dual tasking, this approach has been proven over 30 years of studies to transfer to improvement in real-life daily activities faster and more effectively than training the brain or body alone.

“Results of our SMARTfit dual-task training intervention are encouraging” revealed the study’s authors.  “Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediate state between the cognitive decline often experienced in normal aging and dementia that affects 15% of Americans over 65 years of age.  In partnership with a local urban YMCA in an underserved, predominantly minority neighborhood, we tested the appeal and therapeutic benefits of SMARTfit training among older adults with mild cognitive impairment. The participants reported a positive training experience. After 12 weeks of dual-task training, Trail-Making Test and Stroop ColorWord Interference Test scores improved, as did scores on the Short Physical Performance Battery.”

For a personalized consultation to discuss how your facility could implement a SMARTfit program to improve the cognitive and physical health of your community, please click HERE.

Share This Blog Post on Social Media

Experience SMARTfit!

Schedule a Personalized Demo Here

  • See SMARTfit in action
  • Discover the power of the SMARTfit user interface app
  • Learn how SMARTfit can benefit your business
Translate »