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Prevent Alzheimer’s – Play Scrabble
Modern medical science has shown that playing Scrabble or other “thinking” board games has many health benefits. No matter your age, “brain sports” such as Scrabble have been shown to be particularly beneficial for many aspects of human mental health.
On the simpler and more obvious end of the spectrum, the social aspects of Scrabble and other board games can be a preventative or even a treatment for loneliness, depression, and social phobia.
At the other end of the spectrum, a study from the University of Southern California and published in the respected “Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences” shows that mentally stimulating recreational activities in early and middle adulthood are strongly associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. later in life.
A similar study conducted by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health in 2002 studied 700 people without dementia aged 65 and older for a period of 4.5 years. It compared the level of active cognitive activities regularly performed by study participants, such as card games, checkers, crosswords, reading books and visiting museums. The NIH concluded that people with the highest levels of cognitive activities in their lifestyle had a 47% reduced risk of developing future Alzheimer’s disease compared to those with the lowest levels. high levels of cognitive activity in their lifestyle.
A 2008 study from the University of NSW published in the famous journal “Public Library of Science” adds that in addition to Alzheimer’s disease, the appearance of other degenerative brain diseases such as Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s can also be delayed or prevented with these forms of mental activity. It revealed that a region of the brain known as the hippocampus, known to shrink with age and especially with these three degenerative brain diseases, has only half the rate of shrinkage in people engaged in active mental tasks compared to those with low levels of mental stimulation.
Evidence suggests a “use it or lose it” basis for human cognitive health.
While it’s too late for prevention, research from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center that was published in the “Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry” still has encouraging news. They demonstrated that computer- and Internet-based mental stimulation activities, such as games, can play a useful role alongside medications in improving cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This is another plus for Scrabble, whose various Internet versions have made the game one of the most popular online games today.
Regardless of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, cognitive decline is a very common phenomenon as we progress through the years. Medical research clearly teaches us that keeping your brain active with puzzles, games, studying, and similar means is an effective method to slow the rate of age-related cognitive decline. Moreover, the earlier in life one begins to regularly participate in such brain-active games and activities, the longer it takes before cognitive decline even begins.
The lesson is clear. Play Scrabble and other brain games regularly to improve and maintain your overall mental health throughout life, and to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of age-related cognitive decline more late in your life.
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