Games to prevent Alzheimer’s & dementia

Games to prevent dementia? Is that even possible? Actually, there’s still so much debate on this subject.

Scientists are still trying to figure out what causes Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. While the answers remain unknown, new research indicates that people can influence their risk factors for developing the condition by being physically active, reducing the amount of sugar in their diet, and engaging in mental stimulation, primarily through playing games.

In this article, we will try to dive into the topic of playing games and how they benefit the brain. So keep reading if you are curious about the effects of games on preventing dementia.

Does Brain Activity Help with Dementia?

Animal studies show that keeping the mind engaged may:

Reduce the amount of brain cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s.
Encourage the development of new nerve cells.
Stimulate nerve cells to communicate with one another.

You can help establish a reserve supply of brain cells and links between them by keeping your brain engaged with exercises or other activities. Moreover, You may even develop new brain cells.

It could be one of the reasons why scientists have discovered a correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and lower levels of education. Experts believe increased mental activity from education may protect the brain by strengthening cell connections.

But neither education nor brain exercise is guaranteed to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, they may assist in postponing symptoms and keep the mind operating better for longer.

That being said, let’s take a look at some brain exercises beneficial to the brain.

Brain Exercises (Training) to Prevent Dementia

Although the brain gets plenty of exercise daily, certain activities may improve brain function and connectivity. In turn, this may protect the brain from age-related deterioration. Here are some brain activities you can try:

Meditation

In general, meditation involves focusing attention in a quiet, controlled manner. Meditating may offer numerous advantages for both the brain and the body.

Based on research from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthTrusted, it may slow brain aging and improve brain function.

Visualizing more

Visualization is the process of creating a mental image to represent information. You can use pictures or animated sceneries to develop a mental image.

According to 2018 research, visualization assists people in organizing information and making proper decisions.

People can use visualization in their daily life. People can visualize their trips to the grocery store, including how they will get there and back, as well as the items they plan to purchase, in their minds before they even set foot outside. The objective is to visualize the scenes as vividly and precisely as possible.

Expanding Your Vocabularies

Increasing your vocabulary is an excellent way to broaden your knowledge while exercising your brain.

A simple technique to improve your vocabulary is reading a book or watching a TV show and taking notes of unfamiliar words. You can then use a dictionary to look up the word’s definition and devise ways to use it in a sentence.

Learning a New Language

The ability to speak two languages is referred to as “bilingualism.”

According to a 2019 analysis, bilingualism enhances and strengthens connectivity between different brain regions.

The researchers believe that increased connectivity may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Are Puzzles Effective to Prevent Dementia?

Even though computer games have become more popular in recent years, elders prefer crossword puzzles and number puzzles. Do they, however, really help to prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia disease?

The 2011 Bronx Aging Study investigated brain health and cognitive decline, among other things. It followed 488 persons who were cognitively intact at the start of the trial for three years.

Throughout the trial, subjects got clinically and cognitively tested every 12-18 months.

Researchers discovered that “late life crossword puzzle participation, regardless of education, was associated with delayed onset of memory deterioration in those who got dementia” near the end of the trial.

Furthermore, “Crossword puzzle involvement at baseline delayed the onset of accelerated memory deterioration by 2.54 years.”

The thing is, not every puzzle is senior-friendly and beneficial, so we have to choose our puzzles wisely.

What Are The Best Puzzles for Seniors to Help Prevent Dementia?

Following up, we are going to introduce some puzzles you would want to spend time playing with because they can stimulate your brain.

Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are one of the most traditional brain training exercises. These games can help you test your vocabulary, learn about history, science, popular culture, and ultimately help you prevent or slow down dementia.

You can do crossword puzzles online, through gaming applications, or use the more conventional approach and go for actual books or newspapers.

Limit yourself to one complex problem every day to avoid overworking your brain.

If you ever find yourself searching for an easy and fun crossword game, don’t forget to check Witty Words out. A word game just for seniors!

Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are excellent brain training games to prevent Alzheimer’s because they challenge you to simultaneously use both the left and right sides of your brain. They help strengthen the connections between brain cells, which increases mental agility and short-term memory.

Jigsaw puzzles also improve visual-spatial reasoning because you must examine the individual pieces and determine where they go into the overall picture.

Rebus Puzzles

A Rebus puzzle can help you improve your memory and brainpower. This puzzle asks you to guess a phrase using numbers, letters, pictures, and symbols.

To complete the puzzles, players must understand and remember cliches and idioms.

Remember, games are more fun when you have company. Socializing is another crucial factor regarding dementia and AD.

What are our options for being socially active while enjoying games?

Best Games to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Playing games can be a pleasant way to interact or pass the time. These activities may also be beneficial to the brain. A 2017 study discovered a correlation between playing games and a lower incidence of cognitive impairment in older persons. These are some other games that let you have fun and exercise your brain at the same time.

Memory Card Games

These games test a person’s short-term memory and pattern recognition. They are an easy and enjoyable way to train the brain and activate areas associated with pattern recognition and memory.

Chess

According to a 2016 meta-analysis, chess and other cognitive leisure activities may improve:

Memory

Executive functioning, or the ability to keep track of and change behaviour to achieve predetermined goals
Speed of information processing

Checkers

According to a 2015 study, consistent engagement in checkers or other intellectually engaging games is associated with increased brain volume and improved indices of cognitive health in persons at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Let’s Not Forget Video Games

According to a 2015 review, some forms of video games, such as action, puzzle, and strategy games, can contribute to improvements in the following:

Here Are Three Online Video Games To Help You Prevent Dementia
Lumosity
Lumosity, one of the most popular brain-training tools, combines neuroscience and game developers to produce engaging and intriguing puzzles that improve your mental abilities.

This memory-training game has more than 85 million users globally.

Its puzzles are enjoyable and uncomplicated; they don’t often feel

tedious.

Users come from all demographics; even young people have joined to improve their study skills.
AARP “Stay Sharp” Games
You may have confidence in this one because it is presented to you by the most trusted name in senior citizen affairs. This AARP-sponsored website tries to establish a baseline of your cognitive abilities by having you take the Brain Health Assessment, a test devised and administered by scientists.

Following that, the games are geared to improve specific categories of your mental strengths.

These could include discoveries, relationships, attention span, and memory. You can even play games to help you relax and fight stress, which can have a positive and quantifiable effect on Alzheimer’s prevention.
Eidetic
The mission statement of Eidetic, “Learn and Remember Anything,” may appear a little ambitious. It is, however, based on actual and provable science. The memory-boosting principle of spaced repetition is essential to these games.

This strategy helps users remember anything, from phone numbers to vocabulary words to banking information, by quizzing you on this stuff frequently and then increasing the time intervals between exams. For example, if you’re attempting to remember a phone number, it may ask you to enter it and then prompt you again a few minutes later, followed by ten minutes, thirty minutes, and an hour.

These games differ from similar services in that they use items with meaning and context, allowing users to create specific and attainable memory-based goals. This app is a free iOS download, so if you have an iPhone, you can take your games with you everywhere you go.

Final Words

Games are not just tools for killing time. The right games can be learning opportunities that help improve your mental state. But don’t forget to leave some room for fun while trying to exercise your brain. After all, games are primarily about having fun.

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