Frequently Asked Questions
A: Dakim BrainFitness is the product of inventor, founder, and CEO Dan Michel’s experience with his father’s 13-year struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Dan’s participation in cognitively stimulating activities with his father made him recognize the therapeutic value of mental stimulation. He also saw a pressing need for an effective, automated form of cognitive exercise that more people could use to maintain their brain health and improve their quality of life.Q-2: Who is Dakim BrainFitness for?
A: Dakim BrainFitness is designed specifically for seniors and boomers over age 60. It includes content at five different levels of mental fitness, making it appropriately challenging for a wide range of individuals, from those with normal brain function to those with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment.Q-3: How does Dakim BrainFitness improve seniors’ quality of life?
A: Experts have found that brain health is a "use it or lose it" proposition. Dakim BrainFitness turns rigorous cognitive exercise into a compelling and enjoyable experience, so participants are encouraged to keep coming back for more.Q-4 How does one use Dakim BrainFitness?
A: Dakim BrainFitness is a diverse collection of exercises and activities that appear in a continuous, interactive stream lasting for the duration of your session. The only thing you have to do is start the session; the software takes care of everything else.Q-5: How long does a Dakim BrainFitness session last?
A: The default session length is about 20 minutes. This is long enough to provide a comprehensive workout, while also giving the software enough information from the player’s responses to automatically fine tune the level of challenge in each cognitive domain.Q-6 Am I responsible for choosing the exercises that appear in my sessions?
A: No, Dakim BrainFitness assembles each session for you while you play. Using proprietary technology, the software selects new exercises at the appropriate level of challenge, in a wide variety of cognitive areas, and serves them up to you one after another. In this way, the system allows you to become fully immersed, promoting greater concentration and a positive, energized state that psychologists refer to as flow.Q-7: How comprehensive is the mental workout in Dakim BrainFitness?
A: Dakim BrainFitness exercises six essential cognitive domains, including memory (short-term and long-term), language, computation, visuospatial orientation, and critical thinking.Q-8: Is Dakim BrainFitness going to “test” my brain?
A: No, Dakim BrainFitness provides a rigorous cognitive workout based on proven neurological science and exercises. Its purpose is to build cognitive capacity and confidence, without the stigma associated with a test. If you’re interested in an independent cognitive assessment, we encourage you to obtain one from one of the many online sources or through your physician.Q-9 How often should I use Dakim BrainFitness?
A: We recommend playing Dakim BrainFitness 3-5 times a week for maximum benefit.Q-10 How much content is there?
A: Dakim BrainFitness content consists of thousands of individual challenges in approximately 100 different formats. In addition, new challenges and formats are being developed all the time; as they become available, your Dakim BrainFitness software or System unit automatically downloads them and incorporates them into your routine.Q-11 How long can I play without repeating material?
A: Dakim BrainFitness’ initial 6 GB download consists of about 300 hours of material including all five different challenge levels—enough to support more than a year of normal use with minimal repeats. Meanwhile, your Dakim BrainFitness software (or System) will automatically download new challenges as they become available, to add to your mix and keep your workouts fresh.Q-12: What’s the difference between the Dakim BrainFitness System and Dakim BrainFitness software?
A: Both contain the same program content, and both receive new exercises and software updates as they become available. Whereas Dakim BrainFitness software is designed to run on your home computer, the Dakim BrainFitness System is a dedicated, touch-screen console that comes pre-loaded with Dakim BrainFitness Software. It is intended for senior living communities or home use, and the price depends on the number of users.Q-13: How do I purchase a Dakim BrainFitness System for home use?
A: You can purchase a Dakim BrainFitness System by calling our toll-free number at 800-856-5502 or by sending us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, simply follow the link the the store on this website.Q-14: What service and support is available to home users of the Dakim BrainFitness System?
A: Our technical support staff is available to assist you by phone or by e-mail. Dakim BrainFitness units continuously and automatically self-diagnose their hardware, operating system, the Dakim BrainFitness application, and all the digital elements of the exercises. Minor problems are repaired remotely via the Internet. Units under warranty that can’t be repaired remotely will be replaced. Plus, Dakim BrainFitness units will automatically download and install new exercises and important software updates whenever they are available.
A: Alzheimer’s (AHLZ-high-merz) disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually affects a person’s memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities. As Alzheimer’s progresses, individuals may also experience changes in personality and behavior, such as anxiety, suspiciousness or agitation, as well as delusions or hallucinations. Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, new treatments are on the horizon as a result of accelerating insight into the biology of the disease. Research has also shown that effective care and support can improve quality of life for individuals and their caregivers over the course of the disease.
Source: Alzheimer’s AssociationQ-2: What is dementia?
A: Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a group of conditions that lead to progressive decline in mental function. Vascular dementia, another common form, results from reduced blood flow to the brain’s nerve cells. Other causes of dementia include frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
Source: Alzheimer’s Association.Q-3: What is the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)?
A: The MMSE is one of the tests commonly used to assess mental function. In the MMSE, a health professional asks a person a series of questions designed to test a range of everyday mental skills. The maximum MMSE score is 30 points. A score of 20 - 24 suggests mild dementia, 13 - 20 suggests moderate dementia, and less than 12 indicates severe dementia. On average, the MMSE score of a person with Alzheimer’s declines by about 2 - 4 points each year.Q-4: Is there a cure for Alzheimer’s disease?
A: Not yet. However, research continues, and until a cure is found, many experts believe that ongoing cognitive stimulation may be the most effective method of combating its debilitating effects.Q-5: What is brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity?
A: Neuroplasticity describes the brain’s amazing capacity to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences over the course of a lifetime, and constantly change its structure and function in response to external stimuli. Just as the muscles in your body grow and become stronger when they are exercised, your brain, like a muscle, will physically change to accommodate new information.
The brain’s plasticity means that new learning and relearning can take place at any age, which means that there are many things older adults can do to keep their brains in shape.
Source: Ronald Kotulak, Inside the Brain: Revolutionary Discoveries of How the Mind Works (based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning series for the Chicago Tribune), in his address to the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society on Aging.Q-6: What is the value of cognitive stimulation?
A: Studies have shown that cognitive stimulation can boost intellectual power, help maintain mental functions such as problem solving, and even improve memory. The results of a recent multi-centre study suggest that frequent cognitive activity in seniors is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, while passive pursuits, such as watching television, offer no protection against dementia or the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Sources: Wilson RS, et al., Journal of the American Medical Association (287:742-8, 13 Feb 2002); Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine 2000 study based upon the Lifestyles Of Those In Various Stages Of Alzheimer’sQ-7: Is the Dakim BrainFitness approach supported by scientific research?
A: Yes. Numerous studies support mental stimulation as an effective means of combating cognitive decline. In addition, a major university study found that subjects using Dakim BrainFitness consistently for several months experienced significant increases in short-term memory.Q-8: What is meant by the term ’ecological validity’?
A: In the context of brain exercises context, ecological validity refers to the degree to which the exercises reflect what actually occurs in natural settings, i.e., the ’real world.’ Exercises in Dakim BrainFitness offer a high degree of ecological validity, ensuring that benefits are more likely to carry over into daily life.Q-9: When is the best time to start a brain fitness program?
A: Upon reaching their fifties, about 40% of the population experiences some middle-age memory lapses. About 50% of people in their sixties have episodes of forgetting, and 70% of people age seventy and older have some memory loss. Brain aging begins much earlier than anyone imagined - as early as our twenties, decades before you would think you were at risk. Only about one-third of the risk for Alzheimer’s can be linked to genetics, while two-thirds can involve toxic exposure or our own lifestyle choices. Denial that the brain is aging is perhaps the biggest obstacle to beginning a cognitive fitness/memory improvement program. The sooner all of us begin such a program, the sooner we will be on the path to keeping our brains young and healthy!
Source: Dr. Gary Small, M.D. The Memory Bible
A: Generally speaking, yes. Maintaining an Internet connection allows Dakim BrainFitness software to download new exercises as they become available, as well as installing important software updates. Although Dakim BrainFitness software will play on your computer even when it’s not connected to the Internet, software and content updates occur during sessions, making an Internet connection at those times essential for maximum performance of your software over the long term.Q-2: Do I need an Internet connection to use the Dakim BrainFitness System in my home?
A: Yes. Dakim BrainFitness System units frequently update their content so players will continue to seen new exercises and keep coming back for more. Units typically receive these updates overnight, making an Internet connection at those times essential for updating the System content. A unit may be disconnected from the Internet while in use during the day; however, it must be reconnected at night to receive updates. In addition, Dakim BrainFitness System units continuously and automatically self-diagnose their hardware, operating system, the Dakim BrainFitness application, and all digital elements of the exercises. Minor problems can be repaired remotely via the Internet, as long as a connection is maintained. For these reasons, we recommend that Dakim BrainFitness System units ideally remain connected to the Internet and turned on at all times.Q-3: What service and support is available to home users of the Dakim BrainFitness System?
A: Our technical support staff is available to assist you by phone or by e-mail. Our Dakim BrainFitness units continuously and automatically self-diagnose their hardware, operating system, the Dakim BrainFitness application, and all the digital elements of the exercises. Minor problems are repaired remotely via the Internet. Units under warranty that can’t be repaired remotely will be replaced. Plus, Dakim BrainFitness units will automatically download and install new exercises and important software updates whenever they are available.Q-4: How do I clean the Dakim BrainFitness System?
A: Alcohol-free wipes are suitable for cleaning all surfaces on the Dakim BrainFitness unit. CAUTION: DO NOT use wipes or cleaners containing alcohol to clean the screen. Alcohol-based cleaners will degrade the functionality of the touch screen and will void the warranty.
If you would like to purchase sanitizing wipes directly from Dakim, see the Dakim Web Store.
A: A dakim.com account identifies you (using an email address and password of your choice) as the registered owner of your software and lets you access Dakim’s online store, administration, and support services. A dakim.com account is created at the time of purchase from our web store; however, if the purchaser is not going to be the registered owner (perhaps because the purchaser is buying Dakim BrainFitness for someone else), the person who is to be the registered owner should set up a new account during registration.Q-2 How do I know whether I have a dakim.com account or not?
A: If you personally purchased your Dakim BrainFitness software from the dakim.com website, an account was automatically created at that time using the email address you provided as the account ID. An account password (which you can change if you wish) was sent to you at that same email address. During registration, if you don’t know or can’t remember your password, simply click the “Forgot my password” button on the Use Existing Account screen, during registration. If someone else purchased your Dakim BrainFitness software from the dakim.com website on your behalf, an account was created using the email address that person provided; however, if you are going to be the registered owner of the software, you will need to set up your own account, using your email address and a password of your choice. To do this, select "I Do Not Have An Account" during Step 1 of registration.Q-3 What if my software was not purchased from dakim.com?
A: If your software was purchased elsewhere than the dakim.com website, you do not have a dakim.com account. You’ll need to set one up, using your email address and a password of your choice. To do this, select "I Do Not Have An Account" during Step 1 of registration.Q-4 Why do I need a dakim.com account?