Brain Health and Mood

Brain Training Apps Reduce Symptoms of Dementia: Study

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brain training appsMental decline is one of the most feared aspects of aging. It is also one of the common symptoms of aging. Memory impairment is especially frustrating to deal with. Recently, brain training apps have been developed that promise to ward off early symptoms of dementia.

Dementia is a general term of a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.[1] Dementia symptoms include decline in memory and difficulty finding words, problem solving, planning, and organizing.

Recent studies indicate that you may be able to stave off the early symptoms of dementia while doing something simple and fun to do; playing with brain training game apps.

In one study jointly carried out by Cambridge University and University of East Anglia, an app called Game Show was found to improve memory in patients with amnesic mild cognitive impairment, a precursor of dementia.

Half of the participants played the game for two hours per week for four weeks, while the other half played no games at all. The app was found to “specifically” improve episodic memory by around 40 percent. (For a more detailed report go to: Pharmaphorum.) Episodic memory is the memory of events times, places, and associated emotions.[2]

Brain Training Using Free Apps

candy-crush

You don’t have to spend your hard-earned money to benefit from the potentially mind-improving properties of brain training apps. One of the most popular of these apps, Lumosity, costs $5 per month for a basic package.

While these apps are claimed to be specifically designed to strengthen your mind, independent research shows that free apps might just be as good.

An independent study suggests that two of the market leaders in this field aren’t any better at brain training than simple games like Candy Crush. For the technophobic, or those who don’t want to use apps for any reason, games such as sudoku might also be helpful. Whatever you choose to do, consistency is the key to getting results as with virtually anything else.

Some studies also suggest that the brain training apps don’t actually train your brain or boost mental skills. Rather, you become better at playing the specific game. (Source: Refinery29.com)

See also: Calorie Mama: New App Tracks What You Eat By Photo Recognition

[1] Alzheimer’s Association

[2] Wikipedia: Episodic memory

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