Biogen’s Aduhelm™ highlights the on-going
challenge in fighting Alzheimer’s Disease.
The FDA’s recent review of Biogen’s Aduhelm ™ for Alzheimer’s disease, has highlighted the challenges in demonstrating a clinical effect in trials for neurodegenerative diseases. Something those of us who work in memory-training can relate to.
Memory-training is no magic bullet, but the expectation of a large immediate effect when you play these games that translates to improvements in day-to-day function is counterproductive.
For me it would be a massive win to have the same/similar memory function I have now at 50 when I reach 90!!
The benefits of building/maintaining cognitive reserve to slow cognitive decline with memory-training, aren’t likely to show up in a short/small prospective study, but should not be underestimated.
Designing prospective trials to show a slow in decline (i.e., neuroprotective effect) is the Holy Grail of clinical trial design for neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, it’s highly complex. Populations are heterogenous, not least in the rates they decline cognitively and these effects complex to measure.
There is some solid science behind some (not all) memory training Apps, but these types of trials are beyond the scope/budget of many.
The notion that there is no evidence for brain-training and that it won’t necessarily ignores transferability.
Bottom line, if you enjoy playing brain-training games and you chose your game carefully, they could be a valuable part of the mix together other important lifestyle changes such as exercise, nutrition, and increased social interactions.
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