Can playing mentally stimulating games help your brain maintain health as you age? Could this help you avoid memory loss and prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease? To be sure, researchers must do further studies. However, several studies indicate that being cognitively engaged has benefits.

Let’s take a look at what is Alzheimer’s and how it affects cognitive abilities.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects memory. People initially struggle to remember current events but often have no trouble recalling those that happened years ago.

What are the symptoms?

After some time, further symptoms may emerge, such as:

Alzheimer’s patients may forget about their loved ones. They may lose their ability to dress, feed, and use the bathroom.

The condition causes brain tissue to deteriorate over time. It mainly affects those over 65.

Alzheimer’s can affect a person for a few years or decades. However, most people live with it for roughly nine years. One in every eight individuals aged 65 and above has the condition. 

Also, women are more likely to have it.

What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?

Scientists are uncertain why some individuals get it, and others do not. They do know, however, that the symptoms it causes appear to be caused by two forms of nerve damage:

So, How Does Brain Activity Help?

Animal studies demonstrate that keeping the mind engaged may:

You can help build a reserve supply of brain cells and links between them by keeping your brain engaged with workouts or other activities. 

You may even develop new brain cells. 

It may be one of the reasons scientists have discovered a correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and lesser levels of education. 

Experts believe increased mental activity from schooling can protect the brain by strengthening cell connections.

Which games are best to help prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

If you want to become the next Einstein, playing brain-training games wastes time. However, suppose you want to try preventing Alzheimer’s by keeping your brain’s synaptic connections robust. 

In that case, games that challenge your working memory and mental agility might be an essential part of your plan (along with a nutrient-rich diet, enough sleep, and exercising multiple times per week).

Here Are Eight Brain-Training Games That Have Received Positive Feedback:

1. Lumosity

Lumosity, available for free in the iOS and Android app stores, provides an ever-expanding range of cognitive and scientific games to improve your working memory and exercise your brain daily. 

Part of the purpose of these games is to improve your capacity to pay attention to the valuable tools, i.e., those that assist you in completing the current task, while learning to ignore others that don’t. 

With over 60 million users globally, it is one of the most popular apps.

2. Dakim

It bills itself as a “brain fitness program,” which provides users with a collection of games and puzzles to give their brain proper exercise. 

The app gives you access to over 100 different brain exercises, all of which have been designed to boost attention and concentration — in other words, the type of mental tasks that are known to have a role in the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms. 

Dakim is available for free on their website.

3. Clevermind

Clevermind, unlike many brain-training games, goes beyond simply being a collection of games. As any caregiver will tell you, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s entails much more than providing mental stimulation. Clevermind includes social, medical, and dietary features, all displayed in an easy-to-use interface with a digital assistant that speaks in a Siri-like voice. 

You can download Clevermind from the iOS App Store.

4. Fit Brain Trainer

Fit Brains Trainer provides access to over 360 games and puzzles to help you “improve your memory, focus, and brain speed.” 

They have designed the app intelligently to get progressively difficult as you progress, so you never run out of stuff to keep your brain engaged. You can find Fit Brains Trainer on Google Play and the iOS App Store.

5. Cognifit Brain Fitness

Cognifit Brain Fitness, free in the iTunes store, gives players access to a wide variety of visually appealing, well-designed games made by neuroscientists.

As a user, you can track your progress and even begin with a cognitive assessment. 

If you like a mental competition, you can challenge your pals, which is enjoyable and can help you finally prove to your friends that you’re the brightest of the bunch.

6. Brain Trainer

This popular app, available in free and premium versions on Google Play and iTunes, has one of the most comprehensive collections of brain-training games available – language games, math games, quick shape games, and plenty of others (including, of course, Sudoku). 

Best of all, you may customize your gaming experience to your goals, such as problem solving, memory, focus, and agility.

7. Brain Metrix

Brain Metrix is a free web service that helps you “train your brain.” It has an extensive collection of focus, colour, IQ, spatial intelligence, memory, and creative activities that can help you get your brain in shape. 

If you want to play games that help increase your brain’s fitness in ways that can help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, Brain Metrix has games and tasks for you.

8. Eidetic

The tagline of Eidetic is both broad and specific: “Learn and remember anything.” Scientific studies of how the brain learns have shown that repetition is essential for a new piece of knowledge to get classified in long-term storage in your memory. 

The Eidetic app helps you learn and remember new words and facts by using a technique known as “spaced repetition.” It is available on Appstore for iPhones and iPads.

Let’s Not Forget About Online Games

Aside from mobile apps and games, research has shown that online games can help keep the brain active and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at King’s College London discovered that adults over 50 had a distinct advantage when playing brain-training games online.

They found an increase in reasoning and problem-solving cognitive skills after six months of playing the games, particularly for those who played five times a week or more.

They also conducted the study with the Alzheimer’s Society’s help and discovered that adults over 60 who play games daily performed better in everyday chores.

“While this study was not long enough to test whether the brain training package can prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia,” noted Alzheimer’s Society’s Dr. Doug Brown. “We’re delighted to find that it could improve the efficiency with which elderly folks carry out crucial daily duties.”

Online games that can help you keep your mind sharp and help prevent dementia include:

Conclusion

There are numerous commercial brain training games or items on the market. Researchers tested some of them in scientific studies; however, the vast majority have not. We cannot apply the results of studies evaluating a specific training package to all brain training games because developers designed many of them to challenge a different aspects of mental functions.

Ultimately, people should be careful if they come across commercial games that promise to delay or prevent dementia because there is currently no proof to back up that claim. Recently, one of the leading providers of commercial brain training games was penalized for making false claims about the benefits of their product.

Have you played any of these games before? Let us know in the comments.

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