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Can games protect our brains?

Brain training games that require quick recall may delay or prevent dementia.

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As a kid, it was, “Stop playing video games and go outside!” Now we’re supposed to play games again?

Researchers say “brain training” games may prevent or delay dementia, per The Wall Street Journal. Dementia currently affects 55m+ people worldwide, with ~10m new cases each year.

Studies have been so promising that the National Institute on Aging is funding 21 clinical trials.

What are brain training games like?

These aren’t sprawling fantasy RPGs or first-person shooters. They require speedily observing, processing, and recalling info, and get harder as they progress.

For example, a pair of objects appear, then quickly vanish. You must recall what and where they were.

Curious? You don’t have to be in a study to play:

  • CogniFit offers a suite of games to train cognitive skills like memory and perception. Limited games are free; a subscription starts at ~$20/mo.
  • BrainHQ’s $14/mo. subscription allows access to exercises including Double Decision, a game used in studies (you can demo it in the WSJ article).
  • BrainGymmer offers both free and paid access to various brain browser games.
  • Luminosity is a daily brain game app with both free and paid versions.

Want more? Here are 10 quick exercises.

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