Online games may help stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia

Classic board games are getting an online facelift, thanks to Facebook and other social media outlets.

Games like "Words with Friends" and "Song Pop" are all the rage, and some think playing them may help keep the brain sharp.

The good news is experts in dementia and the aging process agree.

"These sorts of games that you can do online, they certainly will help stimulate to the brain and keep you challenged, make you work," says the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Ronan Factora.

The key is keeping yourself challenged by working to reach more difficult levels.

"That thinking process where you're not really sure what the answer is forces your brain to make new connections and to learn," Dr Fractora says.

Of course, using a smartphone isn't the only way to stay smart.

Doctors still tout low-tech brain activities, too, like card games, crossword puzzles and learning a musical instrument.

"This is not the only thing you're going to do. You need to find things to keep the rest of your body in shape," says Dr. Factora.

Exercise and even simple walking have been linked to brain health.

It's important to remember computer games have never been proven to prevent dementia.

Doctors say any possible brain benefits are sure to be reaped only when played in moderation.


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