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A Guide to Dakim Brain Fitness Computerized Cognitive Training

written by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 2/28/2011

For those trying to prevent or slow the progression of cognitive decline, Dakim Brain Fitness offers brain exercises specifically for those over 60. Find out how the program works and determine if it can help you or a loved one.

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    Background

    Medical researchers know that regularly exercising the brain reduces the risk of cognitive decline. The Dakim Brain Fitness unit makes this exercise fun for seniors over the age of 60. While any form of brain exercise is better than none at all, the creators of this program understood that some exercises only work one part of the brain. As a result, it has over 100 different exercise formats with different levels of difficulty, allowing users to exercise each part of the brain thoroughly.

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    Brain Training

    This unit allows users to cross-train the brain for the best possible mental functioning. The cognitive challenges stimulate the essential cognitive domains: short-term memory, critical thinking, language, long-term memory, visuospatial orientation and long-term memory. This allows the brain to get the same kind of workout you would get if you enrolled in a cross-training program at a gym.

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    Challenge Difficulty

    One of the best features of the Dakim Brain Fitness computerized game is that it adjusts to individual user performance. Those who have the highest brain functioning can access greater levels of difficulty in a shorter period of time. People with mild cognitive decline or dementia can work with levels they are comfortable with, reducing the frustration associated with other brain exercise programs. At the basic levels of the program, each challenge is concrete and offers very different multiple choice options. The higher levels of the program, designed for those who have minimal cognitive decline, include challenges that require complex reasoning. The unit creates a daily scorecard to help motivate users to continue their brain training program.

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    Interface

    The Brain Fitness unit makes it easy for users to complete challenges. Each challenge features vivid colors, positive feedback and fonts that are easy to read. The automated program offers personal guidance through each step, making brain exercise less difficult and more fun. It also downloads new exercises regularly, making it possible for users to continue their brain exercises programs without getting bored.

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    Scientific Data

    This program is not just another computer game. Developers worked with a scientific advisory board to ensure that each brain exercise format would benefit users. These exercises are not simply games; they are inspired by neurological tests performed by physicians around the world. Dakim modeled some challenges after the Wechsler Memory Scale, The Hopkins Verbal Learning Test and the Johns Hopkins University Dysgraphia Test. The program includes five challenge levels for each of the cognitive domains tested and gives users personalized profiles based on their performance in each domain. In a clinical trial involving more than 100 participants, researchers determined that people who used this program experienced “significant improvements in memory retention and delayed recall." Researchers presented the results of this study at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

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    Technical Requirements and Options

    This brain exercise program requires an Internet connection so it can download regular updates. This makes it possible for users to continue using the program without repeating the same challenges over and over again. The unit continuously monitors its hardware and operating system, alerting users whenever a problem occurs. The use of this unit does not require the installation of special software, nor does it require users to use a keyboard and mouse. Once you plug the unit in, use the touch-screen to start using it. Users can also connect the fitness unit to a projector or large screen TV if they purchase special connection cables. Dakim offers headphones that are compatible with the use of hearing aids, making it easier for users to complete the exercises.