Clinical Trial Finds Cognitive Training Software Helps Combat Effects of Depression in Baby Boomers, Seniors

Results Announced at The Alzheimer's Association International Conference

on the Prevention of Dementia

Jun 11, 2007, 01:00 ET from CogniFit

    WASHINGTON, and YOQNEAM, Israel, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- New findings
 on the effects of computer based-training on cognitive function for baby
 boomers and seniors suggest that cognitive training offers a positive
 impact and should be prescribed for individuals living with depression.
     The findings, presented here at The Alzheimer's Association
 International Conference on the Prevention of Dementia, are the latest data
 from a first-of- its-kind, double-blind clinical trial on the effects of
 computer-based training on cognitive function during two years for the
 over-50 crowd.
     "The results of our clinical trial suggest that cognitive training
 should be widely encouraged among depressed patients," said Amos Korczyn,
 M.D., trial investigator, as well as chairman of the Department of
 Neurology for Tel-Aviv University's Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center,
 professor and incumbent of the chair of neurology at Tel-Aviv University's
 Sackler School of Medicine and Chief Scientist for NexSig, a company that
 develops adaptive diagnostic systems for early detection of neurological
 disorders. "Scientists have established that depression is associated with
 dementia, cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, as well as with
 greater cognitive and functional decline and higher rates of
     In the research, the computer training in MindFit(TM) cognitive skill
 assessment and training software, created by CogniFit, Ltd.
 (, was found to improve short-term memory, spatial
 relations and attention focus-for all subjects. While all study
 participants benefited from the use of computer games, MindFit users
 experienced greater improvement in the cognitive domains of spatial short
 term memory, visuo-spatial learning and focused attention.
     "Research has shown that regularly scheduled cognitive exercise can not
 only improve cognitive function among healthy boomers and seniors, but in
 patients diagnosed with MCI (minimal cognitive impairment) as well," said
 Prof. Shlomo Breznitz, Ph.D., founder and president of CogniFit. "As such,
 cognitive therapy--either alone or with existent drugs--can help fend-off
 Alzheimer's and help sharpen the cognitive function of those living with
     In the latest findings, 15.7 percent of study participants were shown
 to have depression (Geriatric Depression Scale>5) at baseline. Yet, the
 cognitive side effects of depression did not prevent that population from
 benefiting as much as other users from cognitive training to improve
 attention focus and sustainment; recognition, recall and spacial short-term
 memory; visuo-spatial learning; executive functions; and, mental
     The trial was conducted at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center of Tel-
 Aviv University in Israel, where researchers are taking a leading role in
 the study of age-related disorders. During the two-year clinical trial,
 doctors conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blind study with active
 comparators of 121 self-referred volunteer participants age 50 and older.
 Each study participant was randomly assigned to spend 30 minutes, three
 times a week during the course of three months at home, using either
 MindFit or sophisticated computer games.
     While all study participants benefited from the use of computer games,
 MindFit users experienced greater improvement in the cognitive domains of
 spatial short term memory, visuo-spatial learning and focused attention.
 Additionally, MindFit users in the study with lower baseline cognitive
 performance gained more than those with normal cognition, showing the
 potential therapeutic effect of home-based computer training software in
 those already suffering the effects of aging or more serious diseases.
     MindFit software helps to assess and build overall cognitive skills for
 baby boomers, seniors and people of all ages. In other research studies,
 MindFit has helped users to improve their short-term memory by 18 percent.
 The comprehensive cognitive training program assesses, trains and enhances
 cognitive skills--including memory, focus, learning and concentration--and
 safeguards overall cognitive vitality, an overall concept patented by
 CogniFit. Unlike any other cognitive assessment and training software on
 the market, MindFit's patented, personally tailoring technology provides
 fun, individualized training to match users' unique cognitive skill sets,
 changing exercises and levels to suit each individual's unique needs.
     In March, MindFit was recognized with a 2007 American Society on Aging
 Business and Aging Award.
     For more information about MindFit and other CogniFit products, visit or call 866-993-7312. To order MindFit online, visit
     About Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
     Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center ( is
 Israel's second largest hospital, serving the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area.
 Founded in 1963 as a 1-building facility, The Tel Aviv Medical Center is
 now spread-out over an area of 150,000 meters and incorporates three
 hospitals: the Ichilov General Hospital and Ida Sourasky Rehabilitation
 Center, the Lis Maternity Hospital, and the Dana Children's Hospital. The
 Tel Aviv Medical Center also serves as an instructional and research center
 affiliated with the Sackler Medical School and the Sheinborn Nursing School
 of Tel Aviv University.
     About CogniFit, Ltd.
     CogniFit ( is a pioneer in the assessment and training
 of human cognitive abilities. The company focuses on developing advanced
 software tools for consumers and businesses that assess and enhance basic
 cognitive skills such as memory, perception and attention. Its initial
 award-winning product offerings are DriveFit and MindFit. DriveFit is a
 suite of programs aimed at helping to assess and build the cognitive and
 psychomotor skills needed by novice, senior and fleet drivers. The MindFit
 family of products helps to assess and build overall cognitive skills for
 Baby Boomers, seniors and people of all ages.
     The company was founded in 1999 by Prof. Shlomo Breznitz, Ph.D.,
 international psychology authority and founding director of the Center for
 Study of Psychological Stress at the University of Haifa.
     CogniFit, MindFit and MindFit Corporate are all trademarks of CogniFit,
 Ltd. All other trade names are the property of their respective owners.
     This release is available on the KCSA Worldwide Web site at
     CONTACT:  Shelley Pfaendler / Danielle DeVoren
               KCSA Worldwide
               212-896-1248 / 212-896-1225