Ten sessions of exercises to boost reasoning skills, memory and mental processing speed staved off mental decline in middle-aged and elderly people in the first definitive study to show that honing intellectual skills can bolster the mind in the same way that physical exercise protects and strengthens the body. The researchers also showed that the benefits of the brain exercises extended well beyond the specific skills the volunteers learned.
Keep reading a very important and timely Washington Post article that reports the findings of a JAMA study at Short Mental Workouts May Slow Decline of Aging Minds, Study Finds.
A few other very insightful sentences:
- “People think education is for people who are already educated,” said Michael Marsiske, one of the researchers. “This kind of training works no matter where you are in society.”
- “What I personally take away from the study is, if you challenge yourself to do some new learning, something that isn’t easy at the start, it can have dividends.”
- “The study did not indicate that mental training can hold off all cognitive decline permanently. Rather, as is the case with physical exercise, strengthening the mind appeared to slow decline.”
- “Mental exercise is the same way. It has to be consistent, and it has to be challenging. Just like you have to keep increasing the weights at the gym to make it challenging, you have to do the same with mental activity.”
You can learn more by:
- Reading our Science overview of Brain Fitness
- Downloading our Brain Fitness Guide for Your New New Year Resolution
- Reading our interview with SharpBrains’ Chief Scientific Advisor: Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg on Brain Fitness Programs and Cognitive Training