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UPMC Health Plan Offers Brain Fitness Software to Improve Health
Date:12/11/2009

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- UPMC Health Plan announced today that it has signed an agreement to offer award-winning brain fitness software from Posit Science®, at no cost, to all UPMC for Life Medicare Advantage members. This brain training program is a new part of the UPMC Health Plan wellness services, which focus on both mind and body fitness.

The brain fitness software, known as the Insight(TM) Brain Fitness Program, is a suite of five game-like computer exercises that make brain training challenging and effective. The program engages the brain's natural plasticity (the brain's ability to rewire itself) to improve basic brain function.

Michael Merzenich, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Posit Science, was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine for his work showing that operations of the adult brain can be significantly improved with the right kind of mental stimulation. Posit Science technology has now been vetted in more than 60 peer-reviewed articles in science and medical journals, showing it improves speed of processing, attention, memory, and quality of life measures.

"We are excited that UPMC Health Plan chose our brain fitness training as a way to revitalize the aging brain," said Dr. Merzenich. "Research trials have shown that spending consistent time on these exercises helps users think quicker, focus better, and remember more of what's going on in their everyday lives."

In addition to improving cognitive health, brain fitness exercise - much like physical exercise - can also improve general health outcomes. Recent studies show the Posit Science exercises improve functional independence, self-confidence, and health-related quality of life. A report funded by the National Institutes of Health indicates that use of the exercises should also reduce health care costs.

"Brain health is important because it affects what matters most - quality of life
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SOURCE UPMC Health Plan
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