Cognitive decline and brain atrophy in late life can be due to a variety of different pathologies secondary to varying loads of Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular disease, sleep disturbances, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of cognitive stimulation. We tested the effectiveness of an intensive multi-disciplinary 9-step “brain fitness program” that focuses on a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment of all the non-Alzheimer’s etiologies.

One-hundred and twenty-seven patients with an average age of 70.7 and a baseline Mini-Mental State Examination Score of 27.2 gave informed consent and enrolled in the NeurExpand Brain Fitness Program. In this 9-step program, patients first received a full medical and neurological evaluation to determine all the potential contributing factors to their cognitive decline and then started a 12-week program that includes five-hours a week of one-on-one interventions. Every week, they received two hours of cognitive stimulation, two hours of neurofeedback, and one hour of counseling/brain coaching. They underwent Q-EEG and a complete neurocognitive testing at baseline and following the program.

Eighty-four percent of patients who completed the Brain Fitness Program experienced statistically significant improvements in at least three of the ten components of the neurocognitive battery of tests (p< 0.05), defined as “high impact.” Nine percent had improvement in only two of the tests (defined as moderate impact). Seven percent had improvement in only one area or none of the cognitive tests (defined as low impact). The overall mean was improvement in four and one-half out of ten components having statistically significant positive change, with a standard deviation of 2.5. The change in Q-EEG was an average of 41.4% regression toward the norm, with a standard deviation of 7.3 percent. Correlational analysis revealed statistically significant (p<0.05) relationships between Age and MMSE (negative), Age and regression toward the norm in QEEG brain mapping (negative), and MMSE and Change in neuro-cognitive testing (positive).

An intensive and personalized 9-step brain fitness program that targets non-Alzheimer’s etiologies in elderly with MCI results in a statistically significant “high impact” enhancement in cognitive function and brain activity, with a younger age and higher baseline MMSE correlating with the most improvements.


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