Cognifit – A Sharp Mind or a Fit Body?

Cognifit – A Sharp Mind or a Fit Body?

In a substantial study on longevity, Pew research indicates that only 20 percent of respondents wanted to live to age 90 or older. Why such a lack of interest? Concerns about decline in healthy life years and in particular dementia a recurring theme. Imagine you could fast forward to your 90+ year old self, at that ripe older age if you had to make a choice, would you favour mental or physical fitness? Most people I ask at my seminars would prefer to have both! But how to maintain both? This post focuses on new technologies for training the mind; online brain training that is scientifically proven, easily accessible and personally motivating. 

It can be considered common knowledge that physical exercise at least three times per week is advisable for overall well being, longevity and prevention of decline. However, the notion of training the mind on a similar regimen may seem odd to many. Where would one start? 

According to Alexandre Bennett, a clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in geriatrics., a fear of dementia is often greater than the fear of death itself. ”People fear this more than death, because it steals your personality and turns you into somebody that requires total care,” she says. 

Before we dive into online brain training with promising indications for the prevention of cognitive decline, I should point out the beneficial impact of treating hearing loss on cognition. Studies published by the University of Maryland and University of Melbourne earlier this year on specific measures of cognition, visual working memory, processing speed, and executive function showed improvement after 6 months of full time use of quality hearing device use. This recent research ads to the growing body of evidence that hearing devices have on cognition, including a major review whereby the Lancet Journal recognise hearing loss as the #1 preventable risk factor for the prevention of dementia. 

When training the mind, Sudoku and crosswords can be helpful in cognition, however they’re limited in scope. A major study in the British Medical Journal found that crossword puzzles and Sudoku could boost mental ability in specific ways, they had no influence over mental decline as people age. Skills trained in these activities are very specific and eventually a ‘plateau’ is reached where progress is limited. It’s like going to the gym and performing a couple of specific exercises with the same weight, you’ll reach a point where progress flattens out. 

If you’ve ever been to one of my live seminars, read my book or followed NeuAudio on social media, you’ll know I’m an advocate of structured brain training, specifically cognitive training. What has cognitive training that got to do with Audiology you may ask? The answer is plenty! Consider your ability to hear in background noise, this involves separating the target signal from distracting noise, an interplay between pattern recognition, selective attention and short-term memory. The most common forms of hearing loss result in a loss of perception of many higher pitch consonant sounds which requires input from the visual system to ‘fill in the gaps’ with body language, facial expression and lip movement, a considerable and multifaceted cognitive task. 

Recent research published by Edith Cowan University examined 26 peer-reviewed studies examining the effectiveness of seven brain training programs for people aged over 50. They found two programs reached their gold standard of Level 1 in scientific backing; these are Cognifit and BrainHQ

Having researched and personally used both programs, my preference and recommendation is Congifit. After reviewing close to 8,000 studies, reviewers at the University of Western Australia stated that CogniFit possessed the highest level of evidence showing concrete effects of brain training in healthy aging. CogniFit can be classified as a cognitively preventative program for dementia, i.e. a serious game that keeps the player cognitively engaged and slows down the symptoms of dementia.

In short, Cognifit has a general cognitive assessment component and personalised training program. The assessment generates an overall score out of 800 and an equivalent cognitive age based on your results. As you progress through the training program, which is simply 15-20 minutes every second day, your score out of 800 changes. I have to say personally find it quite motivating to see the score improve (on most days ; )

I’d encourage you to give it a try, what do you have to lose? 

Best Regards


p.s. If you or someone you know may benefit from my help and you’re interested in Cognifit, I’ll happily gift you a general Cognifit assessment and 6 months training access (valued at $230) once they or you become a patient of the practice; additionally we’ll send a set of hearing devices to Cambodia on your behalf for referred patients. 

p.p.s I’m in no way associated with Cognifit, like treating hearing loss (my day job), it’s one of the best ways I’ve found to help prevent cognitive decline.

Click here to learn more about what I can do to help, or find one of my clinics.