Brain Games Elderly

I am hoping that those searching online for brain games elderly are also looking for information on brain fitness.

Brain games can mean a number of different things, and brain fitness is, as I do it, about using and taking care of my 69 year old brain, in part by using computerized brain fitness programs.

Brain fitness means using the best available tools to enhance two important aspects of my brain, and what it can do on a daily basis.

Those two aspects of brain are neurogenesis, or the daily birth of new neurons, and neuroplasticity, which is my brain's ceaseless efforts to create more and stronger connections between neurons.

When those two aspects of brain function are enhanced, I have a much better chance of aging gracefully.

While new technology aids and abets neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, there are a number of lifestyle factors that also must be attended to.

Often referred to as the Four Pillars of Brain Health, they include nutrition, physical exercise, sleep, stress management, and novel learning experiences.

Brain games elderly would fall in the novel learning quadrant as far as I am concerned.

I am quite encouraged by developments in this field, including recent research like the IMPACT study just published. From the Posit Science Site.

Brain Games Elderly and the IMPACT Study

"IMPACT: A landmark study

The first multi-center, randomized, prospective, controlled clinical trial of a widely available, non-invasive cognitive training program designed for adult use

The Issue: Brain Health in Aging Today's older adults are different from their predecessors. They live longer, have lower disability rates, and are proactive in demanding higher levels of healthcare. And their numbers are swelling: the U.S. population of senior citizens is set to double in the next 25 years, reaching 72 million by 2030.

Brain health is a major issue for these millions of people, even when their brains are aging normally. More than ever before, older adults are looking to their physicians for evidence-based guidance on how to best maintain their brain health. They are wise to do so: clinical research shows that early signs of age-related cognitive decline (defined as normal changes in cognition that accompany aging, e.g., memory lapses) can precede changes in activities of daily living (e.g., ability to manage finances), which in turn often precede changes in living situations (e.g., moving into assisted living).

IMPACT: A Landmark Study in Cognitive Aging The IMPACT study was designed to demonstrate that Posit Science’s brain-plasticity-based cognitive training (a publicly available program) is statistically superior to non-specfic approaches aimed at staying “cognitively active.” In addition, IMPACT examines the extent to which older adults notice the benefits of training in their everyday lives." 

Posit Science 

I have been reading about brain fitness for a few months, since I found a book by Norman Doidge, MD, called The Brain That Changes Itself.

Doidge interviews Michael Merzenich about his work at Posit Science.

I was impressed by what Merzenich, who is my age, has to say about brain fitness, and his program, which is the program tested in the IMPACT study, so I bought it, and tried it out, along with three other brain fitness programs, Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro, Brain Builder 3.0, which has since been replaced by Brain Builder, and the Lumosity program.

I have been practicing with the Posit Science program for several months now, and what I noticed immediately was an improvement in my short term memory on the other three programs.

My ability to stay on task was amplified, no small task with an ADD style brain, which has made the sticky note people rich. (If I do not write myself lots of notes, wonderful ideas are born and forgotten rather quickly).

Given my personal experience, the IMPACT study, and the growing use of the Posit Science programs in assisted living and senior centers, I think this computerized brain fitness program fits well with brain games for the elderly.

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Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro - Software that makes you smarter

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