Do Brain Games Work?

Between 2014 and 2016, scientists argued whether brain games actually improved (or help prevent the decline of) cognitive functioning.

Despite the growing popularity of apps designed to sharpen the mind, such as Lumosity, scientists conclude that these brain training puzzles fail to deliver claims of improved memory.

The Brooking Park team learned of this story from NPR’s Jon Hamilton, who often covers brain-related stories. You can find Hamilton’s article here or visit SAGE journals to read the full findings (abstract).

Brain training is appealing in part because it seems to provide a quick way to enhance cognition relative to the sustained investment required by education and skill acquisition. Practicing a cognitive task consistently improves performance on that task and closely related tasks, but the available evidence that such training generalizes to other tasks or to real-world performance is not compelling.
(Source: SAGE)

In conclusion, as much as we’re rooting for technology to drive medical advances, the answers are not always neatly wrapped up in a fun app. Make sure you’re staying intellectually, physically, and socially active!

What is Dementia?

Portrait of a senior woman on a walk in the park in late springDementia and Alzheimer’s disease may seem like similar conditions, but there are some key differences between them that affect diagnosis and treatment. Alz.org has put together an informational guide on dementia and explains how it is different from Alzheimer’s Disease.  Here are a few facts:

Serious mental decline such as dementia is NOT a normal part of aging.

Dementia is not a specific disease, but a collection of symptoms that affect core mental functioning. For dementia to be considered as a diagnosis, at least two of the following mental functions must be impaired:

  • Memory
  • Communication and language
  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning and judgment
  • Visual perception

Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells. Damage to brain cells can affect the functions that take place in that part of the brain (such as memory or language).

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases.

There is no single test to determine if a person has dementia.

For more information, see the full article at Alz.org.

If your family member is struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s, we are here to help. Contact Brooking Park Memory Care today at (314) 576-5545.

Risk Factors for Dementia

Portrait of the smiling elderly woman. A photo on the autumn background

Are you or your loved one at risk for dementia? Alz.org has put together an informational guide on dementia and describes risk factors for it.  Here are a few of the risk factors:

  • Age. Age is the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Generally as you get older you are more likely to develop dementia.
  • Genetics. If you have a family history of dementia, you are more likely to develop it yourself.
  • Cardiovascular risk.  Blood vessel changes in the brain are linked to vascular dementia, a type of dementia which occurs after a stroke.
  • Physical Exercise. Regular physical exercise may reduce risk of dementia by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
  • Diet. Current research suggests that eating a heart healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet may help protect the brain.

For more information on dementia risk, visit alz.org.

At Brooking Park we offer top-of-the-line memory care and adult day memory care to assist your family in difficult times. For more information, give us a call at (314) 576-5545.