Friday, March 27, 2015

Do on-line computer game sites help your brain?

Might be fun or relaxing, but so far, the proof isn’t there.  Exercise is probably better.

“In addition to remaining intellectually active, older adults concerned about maintaining their cognition must protect their cardiovascular health. The brain contains multitudes of blood vessels, and lack of physical activity seems to affect the brain negatively, just as it does the heart. Stroke carries its own risks of cognitive impairment and dementia, independent of diseases like AD. The American Heart Association recommends that older adults get at least 150 of moderate-intensity physical activity minutes per week. Time spent playing computer-based brain games might be better spent, when possible, taking a walk.

In summary, brain games have not yet fulfilled their promises of improved brain fitness. This does not mean that computer-based cognitive training will never be able to improve cognitive function, but it does not appear that training with the right amount of intensity and duration is yet available. If such games are enjoyable for their consumers, there is no compelling reason to stop playing, but for those hoping to avoid dementia, a focus on improving cardiovascular health and seeking broader opportunities for mental stimulation may prove more beneficial.

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