Want to boost your memory and ward off Alzheimer’s? Here’s how 31



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A new study has revealed the best way to boost your memory and decrease your risk of mental decline. The best part? It’s fun.

Researchers at King’s College London found mental exercises that keep your mind sharp and can help with everyday skills such as shopping and cooking.

What is it? Brain training – games that test memory and reasoning skills. Now, a large study has shown just how important these fun games are to our brain health.

In a six-month study of 7,000 over 50s with no previous memory or cognitive issues, some volunteers were asked to complete online brain training games for 10 minutes at a time, as often as they liked. Others were asked to do simple internet searches.

The researchers tested men and women on a series of medically recognised cognitive tests at the beginning, three months in to the study and at the end to see if there was any major difference between the groups.

After six months, it was found that those who played brain training games for reasoning and problem-solving kept their broader cognitive skills better than those who did not. People played the games at least five times a week saw the most benefit.

People over 60 who played these games reported more ability when  carrying out essential everyday tasks, the Journal of Post-acute and Long Term Care Medicine reports.

Interestingly, earlier studies by the same research team found brain training has no benefit in people younger than 50.

Dr Doug Brown of the Alzheimer’s Society said: “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”, reports BBC Health.

“We’re excited to see that it can have a positive impact on how well older people perform essential everyday tasks”.


Tell us, do you do any sort of brain training? What games do you play and have you seen any benefits?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I believe you don’t need to pay for courses, you can use many of the games that you make you think.

  2. I play Brain Games, I’m not sure if they are making a difference, but they are fun even if I do get frustrated at my own ability sometimes.

  3. Balderdash….have to create ridiculous answers…..trivia with friends n gatherings where u contribute an item….poem story or dance…..love quiz shows comedy n travel destinations….whatever happens tomorrow we’ll deal with….life hasn’t been easy but it hasn’t owned us

  4. I do cross stitching and crosswords that helps me to be active I am now 73 conquered cancer and in remission but still love doing my Cross Stitching and also designing cartoons for my own use gues this is one of the reasons which keeps me sane and active.

    3 REPLY
    • Hi Debbie, mental gymnastics is an excellent description. I sew, knit, crochet among other crafts & people look in horror when I cannot read their craft patterns or instructions any more. Yes, mental gymnastics!

    • Well I do Jigsaw 1000 I start it off up the morning tea room and any one on the retirement Village can put a piece in, but sadly only one man dose it and most people never see him as he doesn’t join in so I do it in the day time and he dose the night shift ha ha it is really good to go there and find the place I was stuck is up and running again

  5. Even replying & writing a comment here at SAS keeps your mind thinking, being creative, adding in your punctuation marks if you are able to, just try, – this site is wonderful to keep all of us in touch.

    7 REPLY
    • I agree Allison. I have been commenting on most SAS articles since their request to be more involved and find that it has given me more confidence , I can’t get out much because I care for my husband, who has serious medical problems, so this keeps me in the loop. It feels like I’m talking with friends.

    • Hi Gloria, thanks & I’m glad you find more confidence through SAS. I actually have Agoraphobia (which means I get out 1 day per month to see my Pyschologist). However, lately I walk along to our local school one morning each week volunteering – also thanks to gaining confidence to SAS.

    • Yes Allison I fine I have more confidants since writing on here , but still not able to put punctuation marks in all the right places, but most people take me as I am one or two pull me up , and I go back into my shell for a while but on the whole I am fine and do lots of thing one on the go now Is the new grown up colouring books , making patterns out of your head , and I paint in oil

    • Patrica Broadhead Good on you Patricia. The punctuation marks don’t need to be exact, – or spelling either. I noticed all those books in Big W today – such a huge variety for all ages. YES,, I got out – had to, to post my Christmas & Birthday overseas presents. So pleased it is done. Not too much more on my ‘list’ now.

    • Hi again Patricia, your picture in oils has just appeared – how beautiful & how clever & creative you are!

    • This site has made me more mentally active too. Course, the bum’s getting broader while I sit at the computer, but you can’t have everything. Apart from politics which is always going to be quite acid – everything else is great.

    • Yes Leone, I had to admit I was spending more time at the lap-top on my bottom (sometimes in my nightie to 10 am!) – I needed to go on my food plan & have lost 6kg. But of course love SAS too!

  6. Even back when I had a good memory, I haven’t liked those games where a plate of about 12 various small items is passed around and you have to then write down what you can remember. I found it stressful even in my twenties when I did get almost all of them I was still stressed that there were one or two I forgot. If playing Free Cell (upmarket type of solitaire) is helping me. I should be tested by MENSA any day now. Or maybe not. This made me laugh “Mensa Australia homepage. Login. Forgot password? … Mensa is a not-for-profit society. Its purposes are to ….”

    8 REPLY
    • I don’t let it go till I’ve done it. Some take a minute or two – and I have had some I’ve had to come back to for two days till I got it out. Being able to reverse is the only reason I can get them out. Reversing right back to the beginning is a godsend.

    • In half an hour, we go to the pound There are 13 doggies on death row. Hope we can save a life. There are a lot more moggies there, but as we already have 2 at home plus 2 in a warehouse, we can’t take any of them. God! Life is depressing!

    • We are back from the council pound. We are willing to take the dog. We are willing to pay for her to be spayed. The town council has washed its hands of the process. The adoptions are now under the control of academics. God knows whether we’ll live long enough for the paperwork to work its way to the top.We are so silly, we went to the pound with a lead and collar and cheque book or plastic. The minute an academic gets into the process, absurdity grows. I can’t believe it. We are kicking ourselves that we even tried to save a dog.

  7. Mum did crosswords always. She lived to 99, got dementia in her later years. I have also started crosswords hoping to keep my marbles.

  8. I do a few Samurai Sudoku puzzles every day, I play a keyboard I also do various crafts and am now teaching myself to crochet. I have not got time to get Alzheimer or old timer problems

  9. Get a copy of Dr Majit Fotuhi ‘Boost your Brain training’ or go to his site http://www.Neurogrow.com he is revolutionising the approach to brain disorders, and proving that the worst thing that can happen to people being diagnosed with Dementia is to put them into Care. His hour long video discussion with Dr Amen is outstanding. There are many medical conditions which mimic dementia like signs. He is based in Washington DC. Ageing is not the same as getting old!!

  10. Rosemary is known as the ‘herb of rememberance’, but rosemary oil increases cognitive abilities, not just memory.

  11. Yes im trying to remember all my kids names everyday (lol) I have two kids a boy and a girl..give me a moment and ill tell you thier names….oh yes Tanya and David .see? Too easy huh?

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