Latest News » Certain brain training exercises could delay Alzheimer’s onset

Your brain may require more than crossword puzzles to stay healthy as you age.

Your brain may require more than crossword puzzles to stay healthy as you age.

At this point, you may know by heart all the activities and habits that can help you achieve good health. You may spend every day working out your body and mind with all sorts of exercises, from puzzles to aerobics.

However, new research suggests that these efforts may not be enough if you're truly serious about your brain health. The study, presented at the most recent Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto, found that a specific type of brain training was a more effective method in delaying cognitive decline or dementia than other supposed brain-boosting activities.

In fact, the researchers found that training exercises that focus on  quickly processing visual information lowered the likelihood of dementia development  by nearly in half in older adults.

The results came from a 10-year study that was working to compare three different forms of brain training. They may show how brain training could be a tool in preventing Alzheimer's Disease and other cognitive dysfunction.

The study included 2,802 cognitively healthy seniors who were divided into four groups. One was given no training whatsoever as the study's control group, another participated in a classroom-based course for memory boosting, while a third group was given a course for reasoning skills and the fourth focused on speed of visual processing, a skill that often declines with age, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In the first group, 14 percent of participants experienced cognitive decline or dementia. In the second and third, it was only around 11 percent of participants. In the fourth group, however, the numbers were the most exciting, with only 10.5 percent of participants showing signs of decline. Additionally, the onset of cognitive dysfunction was significantly delayed for members of the fourth group.

Studies in the past have also demonstrated the benefits of brain training on older adults. In 2013, neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley developed a video game designed to train a brain's multi-tasking abilities, which not only helped participants improve in that area, it also boosted their attention and working memory.

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