Alzheimer’s and Video Games – Can Playing Games Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s?

July 24, 2007 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

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By Connie Ragen Green

As our population gets older people are looking for new ways to keep their minds sharp. No one looks forward to a time when their mental faculties weaken. The latest trend is for older people to play video and computer games, as well as other games requiring mental agility. Millions of baby boomers and beyond are spending several hours each week with games designed to maintain manual dexterity and cognitive powers usually associated with people of a much younger age.

The video game manufacturers are rising to the occasion. They are learning how to market to an audience twice the usual age for these products. In the past the older audience expressed a profound dislike for video and computer games. But now that they are seeing the potential benefits to their memory, attention span and problem solving ability the games seem more attractive.

Some are even saying that by playing these games on a regular basis the risk of Alzheimer’s disease may be reduced. This could also be true for those adults with attention deficit disorder or dementia.

If you are considering taking up video games as a way to stave off old age, remember that nutrition and exercise also play a large role in maintaining strong memory and other mental functions. A combination of stimulation from a variety of sources is probably the best bet if you want to keep your mind fine tuned.

Cognitive abilities can also be improved by changing your routine, like brushing your hair with the opposite hand or using your non-dominant hand to do laundry or dishes. Physical exercise for at least twenty minutes each day will also keep the blood flowing to the brain and other organs. Playing cards or board games or playing a musical instrument may also strengthen the connection between the synapses and neurons in the brain.

The best idea is to keep your mind stimulated and continue to find new things to be learning. Conversation with a variety of people will also help to maintain mental acuity. A variety of methods, including video and computer games, may be the key to years of enjoying a healthy body and sharp mind.

Connie Ragen Green is a motivational writer, speaker, and mentor. To find out more visit her at

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