CogniFit's Science blog: Brain Health Can Be Improved Well Into The Golden Years

Brain Health Can Be Improved Well Into The Golden Years

It seems that everyday science is disproving some long accepted theory on the brain. Previously it was thought that brain health could only be boosted into young adulthood.

New studies show that in fact mental abilities can be enhanced well into your senior years.

In this particular study seniors were split into two groups the ages of the participants were between 60 and 94. The first group was assigned a 16 week course of brain tasks which they completed at home. The other group received no special treatment.

The brain health games were designed to challenge people’s reasoning skills. They had to thing like find patterns in numbers, relationships or other tasks. As the participants finished each set of tasks, they were given a more challenging set. Let's see what happened!

All participants were given a test at the beginning and end of the study that tested their reasoning skills to use as a measure for improvement. The group who participated in the brain health games showed significant improvements in reasoning after the study was completed. The group who did not do activities showed no change in cognitive and reasoning skills.

In addition to the reasoning tests the researchers also studied certain personality traits to measure brain health. The five traits they focused on were openness, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. The participants who did the brain health games showed improvement in openness although the change was not very large.

This particular study is very exciting because it proves that even in your senior years significant increases can be made to your brain health. Certain models over time made the claim that brain function stops increasing by your 20’s or 30’s. This study among many others not only show how exercises changed brain function but also personality type is much older individuals.

Improved brain health can help you no matter how young or old you are. The more you give your brain a workout the healthier it will be. You can improve brain function, memory and cognitive skills and according to this study even change personality traits such as openness.

Knowing that brain health can still be effective later in life goes a long way in the fight against diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. The more ways we know how to prevent these diseases the less people will have to live with them. Every step science gets closer to understanding the brain and how it works the better it can help people’s brain health be.