Do brain games lower dementia risk?
Yes and no.
Most brain or cognitive training apps divide their “games” into several categories, such as attention, memory, speed and flexibility.
However, a study recently published in an Alzheimer’s journal reports that only the speed games were associated with a lower dementia risk (29% lower!).
I was really interested in this report. My husband and I enjoy playing these games, even though I’ve posted before that there was no solid evidence supporting their role in lowering dementia risk.
The games are fun, and if you subscribe—as I do—to the “use it or lose it” school of thought, then there must be some benefit.
But now it appears the speed games matter the most! And that’s bad for me, because I am so much worse at those and tend to just skip over them in favor of the games I’m already good at, like memorizing words and faces, or showing off my general knowledge (I’m great at pub quizzes!)
My husband, however, excels at the math and speed tests.
I’m in trouble 😜
This new study followed 2,800 healthy adults over the age of 65 (mostly women) for 10 years, so the data are pretty good. I have to take the results seriously and up my game.
The best brain games to try
The others mentioned are:
- Fit Brains
- CogniFit (This app is a much more serious cognitive assessment and training tool.)
Another I like that is not on the list is Mind Games.
Most of these apps are available for iOS and Android.
Most also have a free version, although you need to buy a subscription to access all the training games.
I’ve always been happy just using the free versions.
Here are some more of my favorite brain health resources: