Popular “brain training” exercises do nothing to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia, a study has revealed.
And they may even be doing some harm as many older users could be fooled into giving up beneficial physical exercise to play sudoku or a handheld computer console.
The findings are a blow to the theory – and the claims of a multi-million pound industry – that brain exercises ward off mental problems in old age.
Brain exercises – known as cognitive training – have become trendy thanks to the handheld Nintendo DS, which has been advertised by Patrick Stewart, Nicole Kidman and Julie Walters.
US professor of clinical neurosciences Peter Snyder said there is “no evidence… brain exercise programmes delay or slow progression of cognitive changes in healthy elderly”.
See, here’s another contradiction. Maybe there’s something to it. My step-father lived to be in his early 90s and never finished school. He didn’t read anything. Spent all of his time outdoors. Then look at his mother. She lived to be 98. Neither of them did any brain exercises. She was one of the sharpest ladies I’ve ever known clear up to the time she died.
If you don’t want to do yesterday’s sudoku puzzle, then I totally understand.
Of course, as many of you already know if you’re following the latest news updates, the Mediterranean diet will now do some magic in preventing dementia. Bring out the olives!
I hope they don’t tell me not to take fish oil next month —
But I do have to admit…the brain puzzles are still fun.