Brain games keep the mind sharp in later life, which reduces risk of dementia and even helps regain a younger-working in brain. In one randomized clinical study by the University of Texas, the brains of participants age 56 to 71 were more energy-efficient after cognitive training and their speed-related cognitive activity had improved. By keeping your mind active with puzzles, games, and other cognitive training, you can help strengthen short-term memory, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in older adulthood.
How the brain changes with age
The brain subtly changes and declines as we grow older. In particular, brain mass in the frontal lobe and hippocampus shrinks at around sixty years old — these parts are responsible for higher cognitive function and storing new memories. There’s a drop in chemical messaging which decreases dopamine and serotonin production, leading to declining cognition and memory and increases chance of depression. Blood flow around the brain can also slow down. As a result, older adults naturally experience changes in cognitive function like lapses in memory.
Benefits of brain games
Brain training strengthens connections between existing brain cells, as well as forges new connections. Mental speed and short-term memory increases as a result. Doing puzzles, in particular, strengthens critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Puzzles may require you to remember different words, shapes, or colors.
They also involve devising theories, testing hypothesis, and changing
your perspective if your initial method isn’t successful. Your cognitive
ability is strengthened through plenty of trial and error as you employ
a variety of different approaches to solve the puzzle.
Reduce risk of dementia
Risk of developing dementia doubles roughly every five years after turning sixty-five. Brain training has been proven to decrease this risk of dementia in
a ten-year clinical trial. Volunteers aged 73-years-old on average were
assigned to one of the following four groups: memory training,
reasoning training, computerized speed-of-processing training, and no
training. Participants completed ten 60–75 minute training sessions over
5 weeks. After 10 years, the speed-of-processing group had a 33% lower
incidence of cognitive impairment and dementia than people receiving no
training. Additional “booster” sessions created an even greater
Best of all, brain games are also fun. They boost mood by stimulating the brain’s dopamine production, which also improves memory, concentration, and motivation. Implementing brain games into your daily routine can be an enjoyable way of improving your cognitive function and quality of life well into older adulthood.
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not creating or entering a clinical or medical relationship with Dr.
DenBoer and SMART Brain Aging. I understand that all materiel included
in this blog is strictly for informational purposes only. The content is
to provide me with information and knowledge and I will not substitute
it for diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. I am aware the author
does not hold a medical degree or license and is simply providing me
additional information on a variety of health topics.