Can Brain Training Apps Help Your Brain Stay Young?

Monday, September 4, 2017

The brain is arguably the body’s most useful organ. It regulates your sleep, your nervous system, your memory, your mental ability. So how do you keep your brain functioning at its full potential and prevent brain disease once you start to get older?

An extensive range of brain training apps has been designed with this aim in mind. These games aim to challenge your brain, improve your memory and fight off the effects of ageing. However, how effective they are remains to be seen.

Let’s explore the truth behind brain applications, and learn other ways to help the brain age gracefully.

The Great Debate on Brain Training Apps

A large amount of research has gone into the invention and design of brain training applications. There are many on the market, from apps that provide short cognitive exercises, to memory games and applications that help you learn a new language.

Various studies have found that while brain training apps can’t actually improve your IQ, they might not be such a bad thing for maintaining brain function and preventing aging in the brain.

Puzzles, learning new things and brain exercises can keep the brain from developing disease (such as Alzheimer’s), however studies that concentrate solely on brain applications hint that there are other variables at play behind the success each individual has.

The good news? By keeping your brain active, brain training apps definitely have a role to play in developing fewer symptoms for brain disease, keeping the brain active, strengthening memory and reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Other activities that help the brain

There are many theories that suggest the best way to keep your brain active. But before we start here is some good news. Scientists know that the brain remains malleable, even in old age!

Physical activity has been linked to an increase in cognitive function, memory skills and might even reduce the risk of dementia. This is because exercise is thought to generate new neurons in the memory and learning areas of the brain. These areas are those thought to lose volume with age, through Alzheimer’s disease or depression.

Stimulating activities like learning a new language, a new skill or taking up a course can strengthen neural connections along with other positive changes too. Perhaps it’s time to study French, take up piano or learn a new game like bridge. This advice applies to your clients too – plus there’s always the opportunity to make new friends while strengthening those neural connections!

Our Top Five Picks for Brain Training Apps

Whether you want to keep your brain in tip top condition or are looking to recommend some brain health strategies to older individuals in your care, these apps could be worth a try.

  • Duo Lingo – While technically not a brain training app, Duolingo provides a good workout for your brain. It uses fun mini-games to help you learn the basic words and phrases for another language, including French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian and more.
  • Luminosity – This brain app involves more than 25 fun games to help you improve and maintain your attention span, memory, processing speed and brain flexibility.
  • Elevate – Use this app to develop a personalised brain training program. The application focuses on skills such as memory, focus, maths, comprehension and processing speed, which could be useful in preventing the early onset of brain disease.
  • Memorado – True to its name, Memorado contains 24 mind games with over 720 levels designed to improve your memory, concentration and logic. Memorado also provides soothing mindfulness exercises that help you reduce stress.
  • CogniFit – This app offers to train over 20 of your cognitive skills. You won’t even notice your training your brain as you play, though the games are designed to improve key cognitive abilities that fade when you age, such as memory, attention and concentration.

If you want to stimulate your brain and help those who need support in every day life, consider an aged care career and take a look at our range of courses and get started.

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ITECA - Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia
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