It is an undeniable fact that the brain is a vital organ of the human body as it is solely responsible for directing the movements, feelings, and all mechanisms of the body. Imagine its significance in the human experience that even the smallest function like blinking the eye is directed by the brain. When we talk about the brain, the very first thing that enters the mind is memory. Our ability to recognize things, events, people, sights, sounds, and smell is an integral part of how we process information and relate to the world around us because memory has the ability to store, register and retrieve information.
Unfortunately, there are many people in the world who go through the devastating experience of memory loss. Dementia is a brain disease – caused mostly by Alzheimer’s – that affects memory, hampers one’s ability to practice life’s daily routine, and negatively impacts cognition.
There are many reasons why people develop such illnesses – and they range from physical to mental health, but luckily, there are several effective methods that can be used to help delay and sometimes even reverse the effects of dementia. But all this is only possible if we ensure that we are giving due importance to our brain health and taking good care of it through the best possible brain training, exercise, and nutrition.
Brain game is one technique that can challenge the brain and help improve cognitive skills and memory function while being fun and entertaining at the same time. These games are considered to be essential tools for confirming that our brains are working at their best. Recently a study has confirmed that cognitive functions can be improved with training methods and proper treatment.
There are many games available on smartphones and iPads that can help in detecting the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. In fact, a leading pharmaceutical company has joined hands with game development company Akili to find out if their game, Neuroracer, can detect early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s in seniors.
The app may be the first of its kind to help track Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in its earliest stages. However, numerous games are available on the market that helps improve cognitive abilities. These brain-training apps have a gaming format that promises to test your mental skills. The following apps are some of my favorites for a good brain workout.
This app is a collection of brain games particularly designed to enhance brain power – or your mental abilities and intelligence. Lumosity is specially designed by neuroscientists and combines more than 25 cognitive games that challenge your brain and memory. These games help you stay challenged with a wide variety of cognitive tasks. This app, with over 10 million downloads, is free and available for both iOS and Android users.
2. Elevate-Brain training
This brain training app comes equipped with programs to improve speaking skills, attention spans, memory, processing speed, math skills, and the like- abilities that have to do with different areas of the brain.
Every individual is provided with his or her personalized training program that adjusts over time to maximize results. The more you train with Elevate, the better your cognitive skills become. Those who train at least three times per week have reported drastic improvements in memory and increased confidence.
3. Memory Detective
Memory Detective is a game that focuses on challenging and training the working memory. Working memory is the key factor that determines one’s cognitive abilities. This game is based on several psychological studies. Recently, research has proved that working memory can be improved through trainings such as fun but intense mental workout sessions to target weak cognitive skills. Memory detective game is easy to start with, but as you progress to higher levels, it becomes more difficult.
4. Mind Games
With over 10 million downloads, this is a top-ranking game for the mind and has a great collection of games based on the principles of cognition to help you practice different mental skills. With over 20 different puzzles and 200 levels of difficulty, this game keeps your mind occupied for good. This app is intended to be brain challenging and entertaining.
Although no scientific research has yet been conducted to decide whether this app has cognitive benefits, it has been reported by users to be helpful and beneficial as it keeps their minds sharp. Mind Games is available on iPhone/iPad and windows.
5. Peak-Brain Training
This app was awarded by Google as one of the best Android apps of 2015. Peak-Brain Training – with over a million downloads – is about neuroscience-based games. The brain training app helps you challenge and track your cognitive skills. This app has over 30 challenging mini-games which focus on memory, mental agility, and problem-solving. All these games are designed by neuroscientists, and the best part is a new game is added each month.
There is a general understanding that practicing life’s daily routine does not test the brain enough to keep it active and sharp. It is extremely good and healthy to keep your brain challenged through various activities. Another easy way to improve memory function is by keeping yourself active and occupied in things. With age, people tend to lose interest in life and eventually become bored with things and the people around them. Some even go into depression.
All these reasons, along with an unhealthy diet taken over a lifetime, then result in a decline in memory and mental function. The more you keep your brain occupied and active, the better it can be for Alzheimer’s symptoms, or at the very least, it can help in slowing and preventing the entire process down. With the advent of the internet, there are countless websites, for example, BrainTest and games for the brain, that you can benefit from by testing your brain power through different quizzes, puzzles, and online games.
And this can be done in many ways; for example, the newspaper that we receive daily has many games that can train and challenge your brain. Similarly, crosswords, Sudoku, Solitaire, and word scramble, are all free games that you can think of using to train your brain. The lesson that we should learn from it is that the earlier you engage yourself in constructive activities and brain games, the longer you will enjoy your brain fitness.
Photo credit: Army Medicine / Dementia Navarita / Rajarshi Mitra / Matus Laslofi