Combat dementia with brain training

Although there is still no cure for dementia, health experts do recommend certain lifestyle changes to help reduce the risk of dementia. One method that is often encouraged is brain training, as this could prevent individuals from developing dementia.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are 850,000 in the UK with dementia. By 2025, this number is expected to rise to over one million people, and by 2051, it is meant to double to two million.

This year alone, around 225,000 people will develop dementia; this equates to one person every three minutes.

Brain training activities such as crosswords or Sudoku puzzles could help challenge the brain on a daily basis and as a result, prevent cognitive decline.

The Alzheimer’s Society research found that cognitive training can improve some aspects of memory and thinking, particularly for people who are middle-aged or older.

While no studies have indicated that brain training prevents dementia, it is important to note that this is a relatively new area of research; most studies have been too small or too short to test any effect of brain training on the development of cognitive decline or dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society said: “Evidence suggests that brain training may help older people to manage their daily tasks better, but longer-term studies are needed to understand what effect, if any, these activities may have on a person’s likelihood of developing dementia.

“The idea of brain training is based on the concept of ‘use it or lose it’. The popular theory goes that the more you regularly challenge your brain, the less likely you are to experience cognitive impairment or dementia in your later years.”

Observation studies have shown that people who do “cognitively stimulating” activities may have a lower risk of cognitive decline thus helping to prevent dementia.

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