Federal Court Orders Lumosity to Stop Claiming Games Prevent Dementia

 (iStock)

The company that developed Lumosity has agreed to settle complaints it puts out false advertising by withdrawing the company's primary advertising message: that its "brain-training games" can prevent dementia, delay age-related loss of memory and cognitive decline, improve brain performance, and provide other, similar benefits.

The company also must pay $2 million to the Federal Trade Commission, which could be used for consumer education.

The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Lumos Labs, Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Federal regulators argued that the San Francisco brain-game company engaged in false advertising and deceived consumers by making claims that were unsubstantiated by reliable scientific studies.

The court order, also filed Monday, permanently bans Lumosity from making any statement that using its games can improve performance in school, at work, or in athletics; delay or protect against age-related decline in memory or other cognitive function, including Alzheimer’s disease; or reduce cognitive impairment caused by health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

The order also requires that any future claim of medical benefit be based on human clinical trials using accepted scientific protocols.

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Lumosity also drew fire for its use of testimonials praising the company's products, and was ordered to disclose when it uses prizes to solicit testimonials.

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