Study finds lifelong brain game players less likely to develop Alzheimer’s
January 24, 2012
Many studies show that people who play brain stimulating games as they age may have better memory skills well into their golden years. A new study published in the Archives of Neurology finds that lifelong gamers might be less likely to develop Alzheimer's as well.
To test this, researchers recruited 65 healthy cognitively normal seniors age 60 and older and asked them questions regarding how often they took part in brain stimulating activities during different points in their lives, starting with age 6. Participants also had PET brain scans to look for amyloids in the brain that are commonly associated with Alzheimer's.
The results were then compared with the scans of 10 seniors with Alzheimer's and 11 healthy people in their 20s. Researchers found that seniors who took part in regular brain stimulating activities throughout their lives had fewer amyloids in their scans, meaning they are less likely to develop Alzheimer's.
Even if an older loved one is cognitively sound, they are still at risk of falling. These risks can be more serious for seniors living alone. Families worried about an elder love one aging in place might want to install a medical alert system in their homes to give them a means to call for help during an emergency.