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Brain Health

Brain Games, should I or shouldn't I?

    A recent multicenter clinical trial of a commercial brain fitness program makes a case for why we should take brain games more seriously. Cognitive decline is an unavoidable part of aging, even for those who don't experience dementia. As the years go by, you're more likely to misplace your keys or forget an acquaintance's name. Multitasking becomes increasingly difficult. Out scoring your grandkids at their favorite video game is all but impossible.

    It is well known that physical exercise leads to a longer and happier life. So what about exercise for your brain? Studies show that with as little as one hour of brain training per week, you can improve the cognitive functions you use every day.

    First, it is important to understand what exactly these games are. Mind games are activities that are fun but challenge your brain. Games that make you think, strategize, and remember information are all games that will help train your mind. In fact, many of these basic characteristics are what you find in many of the games you already play. Play games that challenges your memory, logic, attention, and verbal skills through a variety of brain exercises; such as Sudoku, crosswords, word search, logic or brain teasers, even colouring is helpful.

    With time you will get better at the exercises, which will positively affect your everyday life, as demonstrated by Dr. Sherry Willis, Professor at the University of Texas. Willis found that with brain training, individuals became more efficient at performing everyday tasks of varying complexity - from writing a shopping list to operating technical equipment. She also reported that their memory improved and the enhancements lasted up to five years following the workout. 

    Results from one of the best studies, published in 2009 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, is also very encouraging. As Glenn Smith of Mayo Clinic and her colleagues report, cognitively normal older adults who trained their brain were able to improve their auditory information processing speed by about 58 percent (versus 7 percent in controls). In their multi-center IMPACT trial, 487 adults ages 67 to 93 years worked for eight weeks at Posit Science's Brain Fitness Program, which seeks to improve brain function by stimulating the auditory system. The Posit Science program is premised on the idea that as we get older our brains become less efficient at processing information from the senses (not because of specific hearing or vision loss but because of degenerative changes in the brain's associative cortex), which then leads to a decline in memory. The control group did a more conventional cognitive learning program that entailed viewing educational videos on art and history. At the end of the study the brain training group also demonstrated more gains on measures of overall cognition and memory than the control group, but the differences were less impressive (4 percent versus 2 percent improvement). Forty-eight percent of people in the active training group (versus 40 percent of controls) also reported positive changes in their daily life such as greater self-confidence, better recall of shopping lists and attending to conversations in noisy settings.

Benefits of Brain Fitness gives you:

Faster Thinking – speeding up the brain to think faster and more efficiently.

Better Memory – an average of 10 years in memory age improvement.

Getting Things Done – becoming more effective and error free.

Trying New Things – having the energy and excitement to try new things.

Finding Words – improves auditory processing and fluency.

Sharper Listening – it helps our brains accurately interpret what others say.

Sharper Vision – vision is as much a brain function of your brain as your eyes.

Quicker Reactions – better brain, faster processing and reaction.

Safer Driving – a function of thinking, seeing, and reacting.

Go to and try your luck.

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