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Brain training proven to improve the memory skills of older people

13th November 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Playing online games could have major benefits for older people according to a study that saw 7,000 people take part in a six-month experiment. Those involved were encouraged to play a 10-minute brain-training package, which included three reasoning tasks and three problem-solving tasks.

It was found that those who played the games regularly made significant improvements. This could be incredibly useful for those who rely on a stairlift in the home, as they can now make sure their brain is kept active if they are unable to leave the house very often to interact with others.

Significant improvements found in those exercising brains regularly

The researchers at King’s College London found that the brain training improved the daily lives of older people in situations such as using public transport, shopping, cooking and managing personal finances.

The tasks included activities such as balancing weights on a see-saw and putting numbered tiles in numerical order. The volunteers were then asked to complete cognitive tests, which assessed their grammatical reasoning and memory, as well as being assessed while carrying out the everyday tasks.

Those over the age of 50 were found to have better reasoning and verbal learning following the brain training, with those over 60 finding improvements during the daily tasks. In a previous study, the same researchers found that these methods of training would not be beneficial to anyone under the age of 50.

Dr Doug Brown, from the Alzheimer's Society, told the Mirror: "Online brain training is rapidly growing into a multi-million pound industry and studies like this are vital to help us understand what these games can and cannot do.”

Related research has also found that people with complex occupations, or those who regularly complete activities such as crosswords throughout their life, have lower rates of dementia.

 

Image Credit: Matt MacGillivray (flickr.com)