Scientist Recommends These Brain Games to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

Brain Games for Alzheimer's Prevention

Photo: oneinchpunch via Shutterstock

As we age, keeping our brain sharp becomes more and more important. No one knows this better than Jessica Langbaum, a specialist in Alzheimer's prevention and associate director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative in Phoenix, Arizona. While some suggest crossword puzzles and games like Sudoku to give the brain mental stimulation, Langbaum shares that Alzheimer's prevention is a bit more complex.

“Just sitting down and doing Sudoku isn't probably going to be the one key thing that's going to prevent you from developing Alzheimer's disease,” she tells NPR. Something as simple as getting up and going to work actually can help do the trick. Langbaum points out that daily multitasking, processing of information, and remembering things that come up during the workday are all incredible forms of brain training.

Langbaum, who was spurred to study Alzheimer's after her grandfather was diagnosed when she was in graduate school, has learned over time that puzzles and games focus too narrowly on just one part of the brain. This can lead to other areas going into decline. She equates it with exercising just one muscle in the body instead of focusing on overall fitness.

Do Crossword Puzzles Prevent Alzheimer's?

Photo: Bojan Milinkov via Shutterstock

Instead, the brain training programs used in research are quite challenging. Langbaum would know. She tried them when taking part in a revolutionary study on the effectiveness of brain training. In the study, about 2,800 people age 65 and up trained for more than five weeks doing exercises that tested memory, reasoning, or speed. The results showed that the reasoning and speed tests had a positive impact, even some years later.

While it remains unclear if brain training can really delay or prevent Alzheimer's, new research is showing that another good form of mental stimulation comes from social interaction. “People who have a lot of social interactions, particularly in mid-life, have a lower risk of Alzheimer's dementia in later life,” shares Langbaum. “There's something about being around people that's helpful for our brains.”

All told, Langbaum's advice is to keep yourself active and well-rounded. This means doing crossword puzzles if you enjoy them, but also continuing to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things.

h/t: [treehugger]

Related Articles:

Designer Develops Alzheimer’s-Friendly Tableware Thanks to Inspiration from Her Late Grandmother

Granddaughter Captures Beautiful Bond Between Her Grandpa and His Cat

France Is Building an “Alzheimer’s Village” for Patients to Live in Freely

Man Creates Edible Water “Jelly Drops” to Help Dementia Patients Stay Hydrated

‘The Restaurant of Order Mistakes’ Only Staffs Waiters with Dementia, So Every Order is a Surprise

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content