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Health: Do Brain Games Help to Improve Your Memory?


By Shawn Clark

The reality is; all of us experience memory lapses from time to time. It happens because of sleep deprivation, stress, or aging as well as due to suffering a brain trauma. Regardless of the reason, there are multiple things you can do to improve your memory. Brain games are considered the best “tool” for sharper memory; but is that really true?

Keep reading this article to see whether doing brain games can really help you.


1.) Science confirms brain training improves memory

 Whenever you read health and lifestyle articles about brain health, you also read about importance of brain stimulation. Brain games are considered extremely helpful for sharp memory. Numerous studies have been conducted to examine this idea. For example, Fredric D. Wolinsky and research group of the University of Iowa inspected how cognitive training affects brain’s functions.

The study included 681 participants aged 50 and older. For the purpose of the research, participants had to play a video game designed to boost the speed at which players process visual stimuli. According to the author of this study, slower processing speed can be considered the first domino that falls in cognitive decline. Participants were timed on how fast they clicked on an image positioned in the center of the screen as well as on the images that appeared on periphery.

Findings from this study, published in the Plos One, demonstrated that participants who played video game had improvements that translated to 3 to 4 years of protection in age-related cognitive decline. Therefore, results of this study go in favor of brain games and other types of brain stimulation for improved memory and other cognitive functions.

2.) Recover from brain injury faster

 Brain games aren’t only beneficial for prevention of age-related cognitive decline. Mental stimulation is also useful in cases of brain injuries. Memory loss and confusion are quite common in individuals in the early recovery phase of a brain injury. They have trouble remembering dates or events, even the ones that happened prior the injury. Other brain injury symptoms that affect memory include:

  • Anxiety, depression, and anger
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Stress
  • Illness/poor overall health.

In instances like brain injury, mental stimulation is welcomed for improved memory. The trick here is that you can’t play just any brain game there is. Ideally, brain games for recovery from brain injury should require thought and strategy, but not too complicated. Why? It’s because complicated brain games could cause frustration and lack of desire to do them again. Ideal brain games for brain injury recovery include tetris, card games, sudoku etc.

You can also go for Tactus Therapy Solutions a website where you can find a wide array of apps designed to help individuals who suffered from brain trauma.

3.) Brain stimulation should be life-long

 Now that you know benefits of brain games and how to challenge your mind, it’s also important to bear in mind it’s a life-long process. Stimulating your brain isn’t something you do to improve your memory and then stop until next time you experience memory lapses. In fact, brain stimulation should be an inevitable part of your lifestyle.

Robert S. Wilson and team of scientists of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago conducted a study whose primary aim was to inspect the cognitive activity across the life span. Results of the study, published in the Neurology, showed that more frequent cognitive activity across the life span is associated with slower late-life cognitive decline.

4.) What brain games to play

 Below, you can see the list of brain games to play for sharp memory. The list contains games and mind-engaging activities of different intensity i.e. challenging and not-so-challenging ones. Here they are:

  • Crosswords
  • Sudoku
  • Card games
  • Tetris

You also opt for one of these:

  • Brain Fitness Program – boosts memory storage and recall by retraining the brain to hear information
  • Happy Neuron – contains 28 different computer-game exercises focusing on different brain functions
  • MindFit – trains 14 mental abilities. Suggested playtime is 24 sessions for 20 minutes three times a week
  • Lumosity – online program that consists of games to improve memory

5.) Train your brain in pregnancy

As it was already mentioned, one can experience problems with memory due to number of factors and pregnancy is one of them. This special time in your life is also characterized by various symptoms from heartburn to morning sickness where vomiting is controlled by an area in the hindbrain called area postrema.

This area lacks a blood-brain barrier thus detecting toxins in cerebrospinal fluid and bloodstream. Area postrema is particularly sensitive during pregnancy which leads to sickness you feel every morning. Another symptom linked with pregnancy is memory loss. We shouldn’t forget the hormonal fluctuations which also form a major impact on your brain as well.

Experiencing memory difficulties during pregnancy can affect woman’s self-esteem, particularly when she’s also experiencing mood swings. With that being said, brain games pose as a good way to improve memory. Another benefit of these game is that they reduce stress which is only beneficial during pregnancy.

 Other ways to boost memory: Besides brain games, you can also improve your memory with these tips:

  • Eat well-balanced diet, particularly fruits, vegetables, and Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Stop multitasking
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Master a new skill
  • Try memory-boosting supplements that contain abundance of vitamins, minerals, and other herbal ingredients like Nerium EHT. When talking about supplements, it’s important not to buy product where ingredient list isn’t provided
  • Socialize
  • Read books
  • Learn to manage stress.

Related Video: 4 Simple Exercises to Amp Up Your Brain

 

Conclusion: Variety of factors can contribute to memory lapses including age-related cognitive decline, brain injury, hormonal imbalances during pregnancy, lack of sleep etc. Scientific researches confirmed beneficial effects of brain games for memory and other cognitive abilities.

Ideally, you should strive to do brain-stimulating activities regularly, not just for a certain period of time.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]