Washington (KING) — The numbers flash by quickly. Four-two-one-two-four-six-five-seven, Chuck Blankenship recites out loud. With every digit, he says he feels more alert.
The 79-year-old is playing CogniFit, a computer game aimed at making brains sharper. However, for two years he has been using the game off-label to test whether it can prevent him from falling down again.
“I just walked right off the curb. Next thing I knew the curb hit me in the face and I had a big cut on my chin and everything else,” Blankenship remembered falling twice within six weeks. “I started bleeding.”
A University of Washington researcher recently won a $250,000 research grant from the National Institute for Nursing to study brain injury associated with falls, and to see if CogniFit will help retrain older adult brains so they have a lower risk of falling.