On February 5, the Denver Post published an article, “Brain Freeze,” in the Outwest Section. The story explored mental training programs offered by “Learning Rx” (http://www.learningrx.com/), a company that provides training for memory improvement. Its goal is to “build up cognitive reserves to help keep dementia at bay.” According to the article, Learning Rx’s on-line training games and exercises enhance memory, attention, cognitive function, mental focus, and abstract reasoning.
A company spokeswoman endorsed the company’s program for sharpening mental performance. She added, “Rx has about eighty outlets around the globe. Rx brain training can increase cognitive reserve, which lets the brain perform tasks even if pathways between brain cells are damaged.”
According to an Rx customer, “after I got done with the seventy five minute exercise, I’d just go out and sit in my car for a while before driving home. It was almost like I had to rest and collect myself. They know how to push you. We tested before and after, and there was significant improvement. Then we tested a year later, and the change was still significant.”
Learning Rx enrollment cost is $3,900, and there is an additional $249 fee for baseline assessment.
The exercises are conducted one-on-one at an Rx center. The trainer uses flashcards, worksheets, and playing cards. A beating metronome accompanies the exercises.
The concept appears innovative. However, I have concerns.
Total cost of training and baseline assessment is $4,149. It is not clear if medical insurance will cover the cost.
There is lack of information on how many sessions are recommended, training efficacy, and duration of positive effects. Norming training scores with regard to client age and medical history isn’t explained. Training sessions are performed in an office. There is no on-line training option.
The Rx Scientific Advisory Board includes a Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Clinical Psychologist /Audiologist, Master of Chemical Engineering, Optometrist, and teacher. There is no physician on the board.
According to the company website (http://www.learningrx.com/learning-centers.htm), “we guarantee a 2-year (mental) gain as a result of the 12 week program and a 3 year gain as a result of any program longer than 20 weeks.”
I wonder how the company can claim long term benefit without periodic training sessions following course completion.
Are test results confidential to protect client privacy?
Attached is a web link regarding a client who was frustrated with the program.