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Online Games Offer a Way to Train the Brain

Updated on January 15, 2012

In order to have a full and satisfying life, it is necessary to have an active brain. Playing certain online games can keep the brain sharp and focused.

It has been suggested that playing brain games can help to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, those who treat the illness disagree. While being interviewed for a segment on CBS TV’s Sunday Morning, Beth Kallmyer, a senior director at the Alzheimer's Association, stated that there is no proof that doing certain things such as crossword puzzles or Sudoku can prevent the onset of the disease. However, according to Dr. Ronald Peterson on the Mayo Clinic website, physical exercise can prevent memory loss and improve brain function. It also can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in later life.

While it may not prevent Alzheimer’s, having an active mind will provide a longer and more satisfying life for most people. It will help them to stay more alert, it will allow them to work longer, and it will allow them to hold onto their independence longer.

Keep your brain healthy
Keep your brain healthy | Source

Games That Train the Brain

Training the brain every day will help to keep the mind sharp. There are several ways of doing this: doing the daily crossword or Sudoku game in the newspaper; reading the newspaper critically or reading challenging books; and having intelligent conversations with a peer.

One way to train the brain is to play games specifically designed for that purpose. The Nintendo DS game Brain Age offers many such games. Another way is to sign up to a games website that challenges the participant by keeping track of their daily progress. Two such websites dedicated to training the brain are Lumosity, and Mind360.

Lumosity Games Help to Improve Brain Health

Lumosity offers a free one-week trial, after that it costs $14.95 per month. The site states that its mission is “to create innovative neuroscience-based tools that empower people to lead better lives through better brain health and performance.” The site is owned by Lumos Labs; in addition to a management team, Lumosity has a scientific advisory board made up of leading neuroscientists.

The site offers a trainer which chooses a variety of games that are designed to improve various brain functions. Games featured include Familiar Faces and Attention Game.; Familiar Faces helps to remember names and faces quickly, Attention Game is designed to help improve brain focus.

Lumosity also offers courses such as Basic Training and Memory Boost; Basic Training is similar to the Trainer in that it provides a good balance of games to help improve basic brain functions, Memory Boost is designed to sharpen your memory. There is also a section called Assessment where tests can be taken to pinpoint areas that need the most work.

Mind360 Games Help to Maintain Mental Fitness

Mind360 offers a trial account which allows the visitor to play brain teasers. A full account costs $12.99 per month. Mind360 is “committed to enhancing and maintaining people’s mental fitness.” The games are developed by staff psychologists and a scientific advisory board which features a behavioural economist and a neuropsychologist.

The site offers a variety of brain training games with different games offered for different categories; professionals, baby boomers, kids and parents. Mind360 has a training program that chooses specific games for the improvement of specific functions such as attention training. The training program also offers assessments tests so the user can figure out what brain functions need the most improvement.

Games at Mind360 are divided by Brain Trainers and Brain Teasers; Brain Trainers include games specifically designed to improve such functions as memory and attention; Brain Teasers are just simple logic games. The site also lets players choose challenges to complete and they can create their own challenges.

Brain Health Guarantees a Satisfying Life

Both of these sites offer similar games to help in the improvement of brain health and function. Choosing which one is best depends on each individual and what they are looking for and in what type of games they wish to play. Regardless of which site is chosen, maintaining good brain health is important to insure a satisfying life.

Sources:

Jan's Story: Love and Early-Onset Alzheimer's

Can exercise prevent memory loss and improve cognitive function?

Comments

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  • Richawriter profile image

    Richard J ONeill 

    4 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

    Wow, I'm the first in 22 months!!!

    My method of commenting is a fair one I guess as I usually randomly select from my first page before doing the same with the hub of the selected person.

    I'm pleased to say I found this one which happens to be right up my alley!!

    I like to use Dual N Back which is said by some to improve liquid IQ but then again, as usual, there are always skeptics but I 'feel' as though it's helped my average IQ!!!! ;)

    I use Brainiversity 2 now on a daily basis and am enjoying keeping my brain active. I'm ashamed to admit in this technological age, that I still own a basic nokia phone and have played the sudoku there on the hardest level to death!!!

    Thanks for this, voted up and shared on my facebook page.

    Rich

  • LongTimeMother profile image

    LongTimeMother 

    5 years ago from Australia

    Whether it delays Alzheimers or not, I think any activity that keeps your brain active and stimulated in new ways, is worth the effort. Voted up.

  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Of course you can link to this hub Mary :) Thanks.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    5 years ago from Florida

    I truly am a believer in playing games to improve one's memory. I just recently published a Hub about improving your brain calculations. May I link this Hub into mine?

    Thanks in advance, Mary

  • Vellur profile image

    Nithya Venkat 

    5 years ago from Dubai

    Great information, online games do keep the brain ticking. Another great reason to keep playing on!!

  • Jools99 profile image

    Jools Hogg 

    5 years ago from North-East UK

    Susan, interesting hub. I am wondering lately how I can improve my memory which seems to be getting less useful lately. I'm not sure I would pay for brain training (although I did pay for 2 DS games that do it!) but the info here is intriguing if still not 100% compelling. I think anything we can do to keep our brains busy is worth investigating.

  • Marsei profile image

    Sue Pratt 

    6 years ago from New Orleans

    I enjoyed this article a lot. I work on a computer all day and I frequently take breaks to play the vocabulary quizzes on Merriam Webster online. I am hoping they keep me alert as they are timed and I have to think FAST. Of course, I still start to talk about somebody and can't remember the name, but hey, that's part of being 66!

    Thanks again. Nice hub, voted up.

  • Sally's Trove profile image

    Sherri 

    6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

    Our family has always enjoyed games and puzzles, and especially cards. We're a bunch of card-counters! The elders are in their 80s and 90s now, and there isn't a dull tack among them. Thanks for the resources and links, which I'll pass along to them.

  • profile image

    Nick Fuego 

    6 years ago

    I like to play mind games too. I usually play them on my girlfriend. I tell her that her friends are hot and that I'm having lunch with her sister, stuff like that... Then I tell her I'm just kidding. Keeps her sharp, right?

  • Vinsanity100 profile image

    Vinsanity100 

    6 years ago from Michigan

    I enjoyed this article. I have read others like it and I agree. I love playing online games.

  • pinto2011 profile image

    Subhas 

    6 years ago from New Delhi, India

    I strongly believe this. As being in medical field, I know about a few top surgeons play video games to increase their level of concentration.

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 

    6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    I am certain that brain exercises will keep you sharp. My grandmother used to work 1000 piece puzzles well into her old age and she stayed razor sharp until her last days. I was doing cross words and have not done them much since joining HubPAges! I am going to check out Luminosity. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Cloverleaf profile image

    Cloverleaf 

    6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

    I really enjoy keeping my brain ticking over...people often tell me that I'm a "sponge", the way I absorb information. I do find that online games help to keep me alert. Excellent hub, Susan!

  • JerryJupiter profile image

    JerryJupiter 

    6 years ago from United Kingdom

    This sort of stuff is really interesting to me - for example there are proven studies now that show that people learning to - for instance - juggle, or even attempt to learn a new language - have a drastic increase in the grey matter - so much so that it is actually visible on an MIR! Great hub - shared! :)

  • Ardie profile image

    Sondra 

    6 years ago from Neverland

    I am a firm believer in the fact that keeping your mind active can stave off or slow the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer's. And my goodness, there are so many ways to keep your brain active while having FUN so what would it hurt to play a few juuuuuuust in case? Great Hub UW :)

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    6 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Excellent article! Exercise is essential for a healthy brain. My favorites are crossword puzzles and Words With Friends!

  • pinto2011 profile image

    Subhas 

    6 years ago from New Delhi, India

    Ya great piece of info, at least we can drag some benefits while sitting in the couch and playing games.

  • Credence2 profile image

    Credence2 

    6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

    Thanks for providing this information, a timely reminder. Now I have an electronic version of rubiks cube to help keep those faculties sharp as I age. Cred2

  • Triplet Mom profile image

    Triplet Mom 

    6 years ago from West Coast

    I am a brain game freak. I love games like these and you have introduce me to some more. Thank you!

  • hypnosis4u2 profile image

    hypnosis4u2 

    6 years ago from Massachusetts

    I love games as well and in moderation can be great for kids but not a replacement for real interaction.

  • BlissfulWriter profile image

    BlissfulWriter 

    6 years ago

    I've tried Luminosity's free trial and they have a large variety of fun games.

  • C.S.Alexis profile image

    C.S.Alexis 

    6 years ago from NW Indiana

    thank you for sharing, interesting article

  • Millionaire Tips profile image

    Shasta Matova 

    6 years ago from USA

    I agree that playing mind games keeps your mind sharp. I like playing sudoku games online, and there are plenty of sites that offer free puzzles everyday like websudoku.com and killersudokuonline.com.

  • thesingernurse profile image

    Tina Siuagan 

    6 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

    Thank you for sharing this! It is important to put those neurons to constant practice. That's why it's really great to invest and engage on worthwhile and challenging mind activities. I read somewhere that being able to speak two languages can also lower one's risks of developing Alzheimer's Disease. Too bad I was not able to get the source content.

    Voted up for this one! :D

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