As many people age they suffer forms of mental decline. Research shows if a person keeps their brain active it can hold off that mental decline and even generate new brain cells. One way to do this is to act like a child again and play some games.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, staying mentally active increases your brain’s health and a good way to do that is to play games. These games can include crosswords, Sudoku puzzles, or the popular Chinese game mahjong.
Experts like Alfred Chan of Hong Kong’s Lingnan University believe mentally-stimulating games like mahjong delay the onset of dementia. The belief is that these games stimulate the parts of the brain that control both memory and cognitive abilities. As people age, if they play games, it forces them to retain memories while keeping track of pieces on a chess board or cards played during a game of bridge.
Experts believe mahjong is especially effective because it has complex rules and calculating the score is also mentally demanding. Additionally, the game is social – it is generally played between four people. The requirement to interact with others is helpful in that it wards off loneliness and depression, which can also make a person more vulnerable to dementia.
For more ways to stay mentally active, visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s website: http://www.alz.org/we_can_help_stay_mentally_active.asp.
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