First Cognitive Training Study to Suggest Online Brain Training Reduces Depression

CogniFit brain fitness program can improve cognitive functions of everyday living in individuals with depression.

Aug 18, 2011, 06:00 ET from CogniFit

NEW YORK, Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CogniFit brain fitness program can improve cognitive functions of everyday living in individuals with depression. A recent study "Online rehabilitation of cognitive functions: the possibilities of the CogniFit program", conducted at the Prague Psychiatric Center, in the Czech republic, by Dr. Marek Preiss and his research group, and presented last month at the 12th European Congress of Psychology in Istanbul, is the first one to suggest that online cognitive training reduces depression and improves functions of everyday living in individuals with depression.

A group of outpatients with unipolar or bipolar depression who trained three times a week for 8 weeks with CogniFit mental training, a scientifically validated online cognitive training program, were compared to a control group of patients who received standard care but no cognitive training. Before and after the intervention all patients were administered several questionnaires which measure patients' perceived levels of depression, cognitive function, and functioning during daily life.

The results presented at the 12th European Congress of Psychology in Istanbul, indicate clear reductions in the levels of depression as measured by the BDI-II in the CogniFit group but not in the control group. Moreover patients in the CogniFit group reported fewer failures in executive control (reasoning and planning) and fewer memory lapses in everyday activities. "We are very excited by these results. To our knowledge this is the first study to suggest that by training cognitive function - which is known to decline as a result of depression - we might be able to reduce depression and improve everyday functioning. The improvement in everyday functioning is due, possibly, to an improvement in memory, occasioned by the cognitive training effort. Our patients were better equipped to cope with daily challenges and were afforded a sense of purpose by the periodical training, which might explain the reduction in levels of depression," said Dr. Marek Preiss, the principal investigator for this study. "We hope that additional research with objective measures of depression and daily function will confirm the findings we obtained using more subjective instruments."

Dr. Evelyn Shatil, head of Cognitive Science at CogniFit explains "This is yet another among our studies to strongly suggest that the cognitive gains conferred by brain training may actually transfer to important and untrained domains of daily living. Our published research has shown that working memory training improves reading in individuals with dyslexia and that attention training improves walking and gait in individuals at risk for falls. Now, these important new findings, which link cognitive training with the perception of reduced depression and better quality of life, in patients with depressive disorder, give substantial hope that cognitive training is conducive to better mental and emotional health as well as to enhanced daily functioning."  

About CogniFit

CogniFit ( is a leading developer of online cognitive program that enable people to discover and improve themselves. Founded in 1999, CogniFit has developed a unique and patented technology that helps consumers assess and train their cognitive skills and abilities to improve their quality of life. CogniFit is headquartered in New York City with branches in Spain and Israel.

For additional information or interviews inquiries, contact the PR department at

Media Contact: Tommy Sagroun,, +1-646-340-1740