Alzheimer's research facility opens in Lakeland

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A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming. Scientists say one out of ten of us will get it.

But a new research project at USF suggests online video games may hold the key to prevention. In some cases, it could cut the chance of developing these memory loss diseases in half.

“Prior research has suggested those who take part in computer-based, targeted brain games reduce the risk from 29 to 48 percent,” said Dr. Aryn Harrison-Bush.

USF is looking for volunteers, who are at least 65 years old and healthy, to take part in its new research project called PACT: preventing Alzheimer’s with cognitive training.

Volunteers will be required to play a computer game about half an hour a week for two years.

They will check in a few times with the PACT office to be evaluated.

PACT just opened a site in Lakeland. They already have offices in Tampa, St. Pete, and Dade City.

Along with the devestation of dementia and Alzheimer’s, to the people who they affect and their families, a phenomenal amount of money is spent on treatment can care.

“$298 billion in 2018, and it is predicted to $1.1 trillion by 2050,” Harrison-Bush said.

Right now, there is no silver bullet to treat the diseases. But it seems something as simple as playing the right kind of computer game may help significantly cut your chance of ever coming down with them.

To find out if you qualify to take part in the study, visit or call the USF PACT study’s Polk County site at 863-800-0835.