Pitt Program Combats Mild Cognitive Impairment with Music and Art

By: Courtney Caprara

Women and men with mild cognitive impairment have a new resource in Pittsburgh with the recently established Brain Training and Exercise (BRiTE) mind and body wellness program.

Participants engage with others affected in wide-ranging activities, including music, art, brain games and yoga training, all of which are designed to reduce frailty, increase strength and endurance and improve balance and stability.

While many resources are available for those with advanced cognitive diseases, the BRiTE program fills a void for people with mild cognitive deficits. The program allows them to continue with their active occupational and social lifestyles, while stimulating the brain and body and in the process, improving overall health and wellness.

A collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and Grifols International, the BRiTE program is the first of its kind in the United States. The BRiTE team has been working with colleagues at Fundació ACE Barcelona Alzheimer Treatment and Research Center for nearly 20 years. This center pioneered a model of nonpharmacological programs to help stimulate cognitive, behavioral and physical functions to improve social and occupational functions.