Brain Games and False Claims
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged Lumos Labs, the creators of Luminosity “brain training” program with the following counts including:
- FALSE OR UNSUBSTANTIATED REAL WORLD PERFORMANCE CLAIMS
- FALSE OR UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS FOR AGE-RELATED CONDITIONS
- FALSE OR UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS FOR OTHER HEALTH CONDITIONS
- FALSE PROOF CLAIMS
- DECEPTIVE USE OF TESTIMONIALS
“Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.” (empasis added).
Several of the Lumosity games are very similar to the neuropsychological tests employed by neuropsychologists. As a result, some patients and families may not differentiate between neuropsychology and Luminosity. However, many neuropsychologists are quite relieved that Lumos Labs have been called out. Moreover, the conclusion made by the FTC is exactly what most clinical neuropsychologists have thought for a long time; there is no evidence to suggest practicing these games will stave off brain disease or improve brain health. But what can we do to ensure maximal brain health? Here and here are some suggestions.
Read the full FTC press release here.