News archive 2009
Brain training trial launch09 Sep 2009, PR 184/09
King’s will be working with the BBC’s Lab UK and the Alzheimer’s Society to launch Brain Test Britain, a unique trial that will investigate the benefits of brain training and aims to prove its effectiveness towards reducing the risk of dementia.
Following a pilot viewing on BBC One, Brain Test Britain will investigate the effects of brain training on mental fitness. Initial results will be announced in a Bang Goes the Theory special, early next year. The experiment will continue for a further nine months looking closely at whether brain training can maintain or even improve the brain. Teams from King's and also Cambridge University will analyse the results.
Professor Clive Ballard, Professor of Age-Related Diseases at King's and Director of Research at the Alzheimer’s Society comments: ‘Every week thousands of people spend time exercising their brain using some form of computer-based brain training, but the jury’s still out on whether exercising your brain can boost your brain power.
‘As Brain Test Britain asks the question, everyone can help with the answer. With one million people set to develop dementia in the next 10 years, it's vital we understand the truth behind the old saying ''use it or lose it.'' Join us today and have fun while helping to solve one of the biggest mysteries of the brain. Does brain training really work?’
Brain test Britain
Brain Test Britain will run for one year. Participants perform brain training exercises online for 10 minutes at a time, three times a week for at least six weeks, but can continue to train for up to a year.
Brain skills, such as memory and reasoning, will be assessed with benchmarking tests completed by participants at the start of the trial and after six weeks. If participants choose to brain train for longer than six weeks they will be asked to retake benchmarking tests after three months, six months and a year. The trial will be open to anyone aged 18 or over.
Celebrities and BBC presenters will be pitched against each other throughout the trial and will be supported by BBC One’s Evan Davis and Alzheimer’s Society ambassadors Richard McCourt of Dick and Dom, Tania Bryer and Russell Grant.
A one-off Bang Goes The Theory special will reveal the results of the Brain Test Britain experiment early next year.
Notes to editors
Brain Test Britain
To take part in Brain Test Britain or to find out more about the experiment please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/labuk/experiments/braintestbritain
To read Alzheimer’s Society information about Brain Test Britain please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/braintraining after 7 September 2009.
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher Education 2008) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has more than 21,000 students from nearly 140 countries, and more than 5,700 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.
Kate Moore, Public Relations Officer (Health Schools)
Public Relations Department
Tel: 020 7848 4334
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