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Alzheimers and Dementia Prevention Through Brain Exercise

Updated on January 27, 2016
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

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Prevention

When we were in grade school, we were introduced to word problems, computation, and logical thinking. If we were lucky enough, we were challenged to think outside of the box. Now as adults, routines become mundane and most of us follow the same path daily with few new challenges. Because our brains are no longer stimulated consistentIy, it is essential that we make it a point to stimulate and maintain a healthy brain by challenging ourselves with different types of brain games. Research is showing that keeping your brain healthy and active is one way to prevent or delay the onset of alzheimers and dementia. In addition to prevention of alzheimers and dementia, most people will likely find these activities to be engaging, enjoyable, and great stress-relievers as well.

According to Mark Stibich, Ph.D. (About.com), "Brain fitness programs and games are a wonderful way to tease and challenge your brain. Suduko, crosswords and electronic games can all improve your brain's speed and memory. These games rely on logic, word skills, math and more. These games are also fun. You'll benefit more by doing these games a little bit every day -- spend 15 minutes or so, not hours."

Brain Game: Sudoku

I really love Sudoku; I'm addicted to this problem-solving brain game. It may look simple, but it is not. The task is to complete a 9x9 grid with the numbers 1 through 9 without repeating the same number in any row or column. These puzzles are usually categorized in 3 levels: easy, medium, and hard. I recommend starting with the easy level and working your way up. After completing hundreds at each level, I now have insite that I did not possess before. Initially it will seem as though there is no other way to solve each puzzle, but keep pushing yourself to find new ways to solve them, and you will. A light comes on with each level and you can feel your brain growing stronger.

Try these free online brain games at the website below. Be sure to click on the options button to select exactly how you want to play. I like to see the timer while I'm solving, so that I can work to beat my previous time. You can also set this game to show you when you've made a mistake, which is great for beginners.

Brain Game: Logic Grid Puzzles

These puzzles are for the true problem solver. The goal is to solve a mystery. For example, there may be 3 people, Sally, Jim, and Tom, who each own a pet bird, dog, or cat, and they each live in a house, apartment, or condominium. Indirect clues are given to help you figure out which person owns which pet, and where each one resides. There is a genuine feeling of accomplishment when you solve a logic grid puzzle. You have to use the process of elimination to get closer to the final answers. It's a step-by-step process and it is often necessary to reread for clues you might have missed the first time around.

There are websites that have these fantastic online brain game puzzles, but I prefer to have a good puzzle book in my hand so that I can work on each one over a period of days. There is something satisfying that writing on the actual paper delivers. If you've never done one of these, try the website below for a taste.

Brain Game: Tangrams

Tangrams are a fun and fast way to boost your brain power. There are 7 pieces in this puzzle used to create various shapes. An outline of the shape is given, and the challenge is to make all 7 pieces completely cover the shape, staying inside the line of the shape. I especially like the idea of doing one a day with the calendar pictured here. This is a great item to keep at work; make it your goal to complete one a day. I enjoy being able to manipulate the pieces with my hands and solve each puzzle at my leisure. Just when they seem unsolveable, the answer becomes apparent.

Try the online brain game interactive tangram site below. Simply click the right mouse key to rotate each piece into the position you want it.

Games Are Just One Way to Maintain Brain Health

This article is about how challenging games can keep your brain healthy, but there are several other things you should do as well. Eating brain-healthy foods, exercising, and participating in activities that make us happy are just a few. I found the sites below to be very informative and helpful, giving me more ideas to keep my brain healthy for as long as I possibly can, being proactive in the prevention of diseases like alzheimers and dementia.

This hub is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

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    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      There have been many studies done. A quick search on a reliable database will produce them for you. One study by the Duke Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) stated in their results, "Factors showing a fairly consistent association with decreased risk of AD and cognitive decline were: cognitive engagement and physical activities." (U.S. National Library of Medicine)

    • profile image

      Ric 

      5 years ago

      I'm writing a paper about this subject for school and please don't take this the wrong way but in your article you said that "Research is showing that keeping your brain healthy and active is one way to prevent or delay the onset of alzheimers and dementia." and I was just wondering where you did the research to feel so confident about this

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Lady Wolfs, so glad you liked my article. I actually play these games frequently, and have found some new ones since writing this article. I am honored that you will add my hub to your article. Thank you. Very nice to meet you as well.

    • profile image

      Lady Wolfs 

      5 years ago

      Interesting hub. It really does make sense to keep our brains stimulated and challenged. Great research and brain games you have provided. I am looking forward to trying them, and reading the other articles you have listed.

      Alzheimers is a very puzzling disease with many that eventually get it. Hopefully, one day there will be enough information for us to truly understand it.

      Thank you for sharing a very important topic. I'm going to add your hub to the article on my mother, and I'll be coming back to read more of your hubs. Very nice to meet you.

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Our brains are the most important part of our bodies, control everything we do, so it only makes sense to take care of them. Thanks for your comment nanospeck.

    • nanospeck profile image

      Akhil Anil 

      6 years ago

      Truly insightful, keeping your brain active is a great way to avoid alzimers in old age.

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