Brain Exercises and Dementia
Taken directly from WebMD’s Alzheimer’s Disease Health Center, some questions can be answered. Can brain exercises help delay memory loss or dementia? What kinds of brain exercises should I do? How does brain activity help?
Can you help your brain stay healthy as you age by doing things that challenge your mind? Could that also help you avoid memory loss, or even prevent or delay dementia such as Alzheimer’s? Scientists need to do more research to find out for sure, but a number of studies show there are benefits to staying mentally active. When people keep their minds active, their thinking skills are less likely to decline, research shows. So games, puzzles, and other types of brain training my help slow memory loss or other mental problems. People who took brain-training sessions showed improvements in the skills of memory, reasoning, and speed of processing information. Even better, they also improved at everyday tasks, such as the ability to manage money and do housework. One study found that exercising the mind delayed declines in thinking skills. After people started having Alzheimer’s symptoms, though, mental decline sped up in those who kept their minds engaged. It’s possible that being mentally active bolstered the brain at first, so symptoms didn’t show up until later. The silver lining here? People who regularly challenge their minds may spend a shorter part of their lives in a state of decline, even if they do get Alzheimer’s.
What kinds of brain exercises should I do? The main idea seems to be keeping your brain active and challenged. You could start with something as simple as eating with the hand you usually don’t use from time to time. You can also: 1) Learn something new, such as a second language or a musical instrument. 2) Play board games with your kids or grandkids, or get your friends together for a weekly game of cards. 3) Work on crossword, number, or other kinds of puzzles. 4) Play online memory games or video games. 5) Read, write, or sign up for local adult education classes.
How does brain activity help? Studies on animals show that keeping the mind active may: 1) Reduce the amount of brain cell damage that happens with Alzheimer’s. 2) Support the growth of new nerve cells. 3) Prompt nerve cells to send messages to each other. Neither education nor brain exercises are a sure way to prevent Alzheimer’s, but they may help delay symptoms and keep the mind working better for longer.
Enjoy this free challenging puzzle 10. Pegasus to keep your brain active!