Brain Teasers Might Actually Work
If you're worried about the effects aging might have on your brain, a new study suggests you have some defense.
As reported in The Boston Globe, the study--released Monday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society--showed that older adults who are given "brain training" exhibit and equal or higher level of sharpness 10 years later.
The decade-long study featured 2,800 subjects across the U.S., with a median age of 74. Participants were split into different groups who received different types of coaching at the outset of the study. One group received training in reasoning, and another received training in information processing speed.
Ten years later, 74 percent of the members of the first group exhibited reasoning skills that were better than at the outset of the study, compared to 62 percent of the adults who received no training. And 71 percent of the members of the second group showed an equal or better rate of processing, compared to just 48 percent of the untrained group.
A third group was given coaching in memory, but it exhibited no differences a decade later from the untrained subjects.
Among the entire group, the Globe says, one finding particularly stands out: "Roughly 60 percent of those who participated in the sessions reported they had less difficulty with activities such as shopping, preparing a meal, and handling finances, compared to 49 percent of those who did not have the training."
For now, the Globe reports, only one of the computer training systems used in the study is on the market. (And some of the training systems were done on paper.) Still, the idea that brain training can delay the onset of dimentia is pivotal.
As more and more people work later into life, these findings have implications for business owners--and implications that extend outside the office and get to the heart of personal mental health and wellness: If you want to stay sharp into your later years, you might have the power to ensure it.