A recent study showed that playing popular “brain training” games online can be beneficial for older adults. The study found that playing games that require memory and reasoning skills is a form of a mental workout that can help people with everyday tasks.
Almost 7,000 people who were 50 years and older signed up for the experiment, which lasted six months. After the success of this initial experiment, researchers say that they want to establish more in-depth studies as well.
The study functioned by having some participants play brain training games for ten minutes at a time, as often as they pleased. Others were simply asked to do basic web surfing.
After their computer activity concluded, researchers tested the participants at regular intervals during the study using approved cognitive tests in order to see if their cognitive abilities had improved.
According to the results, after six months, the participants who played brain training games were found to have stronger cognitive skills than participants who did routine web surfing.
The researchers found that brain training games were most beneficial when they were played a minimum of five times per week.
Additionally, people over the age of 60 who play the games were found to be better at carrying out basic, everyday tasks than people of similar ages who don’t play brain training games.
However, other research has shown that brain training games do not offer as much benefit for people under the age of 50 years old.
Still, some experts believe that playing these games might help to prevent people from developing dementia.
Alzheimer’s expert Dr. Doug Brown said, “Online brain training is rapidly growing into a multi-million (dollar) industry and studies like this are vital to help us understand what these games can and cannot do. While this study wasn't long enough to test whether the brain training package can prevent cognitive decline or dementia, we're excited to see that it can have a positive impact on how well older people perform essential everyday tasks."
It turns out that playing brain games for a few minutes every day can help keep your mind sharp.