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Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Brain Fitness Program

The more that scientists learn about the relationship between aging and cognitive decline, the more people become interested in finding ways to maintain and even improve their brain fitness. Consequently, there are many different brain fitness programs available now, but they’re not all alike and they’re not equally effective. Here are some important questions you should ask about any brain fitness program before you make a decision about which one will be best for you:

  1. Is the program supported by scientists, ideally neuropsychologists, and a scientific advisory board? Neuropsychologists specialize in measuring and understanding human cognition, brain structure and function.
  2. If so, have those scientists published peer-reviewed scientific papers? How many? If a scientist has not published a paper, he or she cannot make scientific claims.
  3. What are the specific benefits claimed for using this program and how many cognitive skills is the program training? Some programs present the benefits in such a nebulous way that it is impossible to tell if they will produce any results or not. Always look for specific information about the results you should expect from any brain fitness program
  4. Does the program tell you what part of your brain or which cognitive skills you are exercising, and does it provide an independent assessment to measure your progress? The important thing to know about a brain fitness program is whether the training it offers will produce actual improvement in your daily life. In order measure its actually measure its effectiveness, a brain fitness program must provide personal assessments that are distinct from the exercises themselves.
  5. Is the program structured and does it offer guidance about how many hours per week and days per week you should use it? Cognitive training is not a magic pill. You must do the exercises regularly in order to benefit from them. So look for a program that supplies specific information about how much effort is required to achieve and sustain measurable improvement in your cognitive abilities.
  6. Is the brain fitness training varied on a regular basis so that it offers you something new every time? When your brain performs the same exercises over and over again, it learns to automate those tasks; so cognitive training that is repetitive soon loses its effectiveness. The only way to achieve and sustain optimum brain fitness is by constantly exposing yourself to new and different challenges.
  7. Does the program have the ability to challenge and motivate you or does it feel like it would become easy once you’ve learned it? In order to be truly effective, a brain fitness program must be able to measure your progress while you train and offer you increasingly more challenging tasks as your cognitive abilities improve.
  8. Does the program fit your personal goals? Everyone has different goals and needs when it comes to maintaining and improving brain health. Look for a brain fitness program that can measure your cognitive abilities and offer a personalized training regimen that is tailored to your specific requirements.
  9. Does the program fit your lifestyle? Some brain exercise programs produce great short-term results but are very intense and difficult to maintain. Others may be too gradual and not challenging enough for you. You should choose a program that assesses you from the beginning and then adjusts the difficulty of the tasks to reflect your individual pace and training style.
  10. Are you ready and able to do the program or would it be too stressful? Excess stress can reduce–and may even inhibit–neurogenesis, which is the creation of new neurons or brain cells. The best brain fitness program for you it one that will offer you personalized training that it is neither too easy nor too stressful, but actually adjusts to your needs as you progress.

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