May 15, 2013

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) Posit Science, the brain fitness company, announced it is supplying online exercises through its BrainHQ platform to AARP for a new AARP service called “AARP Brain Fitness powered by BrainHQ.” The service is now live at

“While many people want to take steps to stay sharp, they don’t know what they can do that actually works,” said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science. “We are very excited that AARP is offering these exercises, which have been vetted in many clinical trials, to millions of AARP members.”

“Our top priority is that the exercises deliver real measurable benefits,” Dr. Mahncke continued. “We’ve also designed the exercises to be engaging, challenging and fun. In addition, there are options that allow you to share the experience with family and friends.”

“Staying mentally sharp is important to AARP members,” said Deb Abernathy, Director of AARP Brain Health. “The launch of AARP Brain Fitness powered by BrainHQ is a first step in expanding our work on brain health.”

The exercises on AARP Brain Fitness powered by BrainHQ were developed by a global consortium of scientists and have been shown effective in multiple NIH-funded university-based trials, resulting in some 70 peer-reviewed articles in science and medical journals on user benefits. Those benefits for healthy aging include gains in memory, attention and processing speed, as well as in multiple standard measures of quality of life.

A study published earlier this month by researchers at the University of Iowa pitted one of these brain exercises against crosswords. Researchers found participants who did just 10 hours of the exercise, with no further training, had gains of 1.5 to 6.6 years across several standard measures of cognition that persisted even a year later. No gains were seen from doing crosswords.

“It’s the ‘use it or lose it’ phenomenon, with a twist,” said the study’s lead researcher Dr. Fredric Wolinsky. “We learned that what you are using matters. Here, the exercise designed by neuroscientists delivered significant gains that generalized to daily life, and the crosswords, which a lot of people have placed their faith in, showed no measurable benefits.”

The study also showed that participants aged 50-64 had gains just as large as those 65 and older. “This suggests that as with physical exercise, anyone can improve at any age,” said Dr. Wolinsky. “And, as with physical exercise, why would you wait until you are old to get into better shape?”

The BrainHQ platform currently offers 20 exercises. Each exercise continuously adjusts and customizes to each user to optimize benefits. Users can play for as little as a minute at a time or for much longer periods. While based on serious science, the exercises are configured in a game-like format, and users can invite friends and family into the offering to share the experience of sharpening one’s brain.

AARP Brain Fitness powered by BrainHQ is available to anyone; participants can access four of the exercises for free. In addition, AARP members currently get a one-week free trial of all 20 exercises and a special discounted price on a full subscription, with pricing that works out to as low as $5 per month for those who buy the annual $60 subscription, or $9 for those who subscribe month-to month. Non-members of AARP can also use AARP Brain Fitness powered by BrainHQ, but without the discount.