Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Scrabble: Brain Medicine to Fight Alzheimers


Gone are the days when the theory of "play mental games to keep the brain active" was a hypothesis. Now it is proved by the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center  Through a study they showed that the "risk of developing Alzheimer can be reduced by 47 percent by thought-provoking and mind-stimulating activities." They also recommend forming a "Scrabble or Mahjong club" to make sure that something is done for the brain regularly. Other studies support this assessment.

So, as preventive maintenance approach, anyone who is afraid of developing Alzheimer's disease, should play Scrabble often. However, those who have a family history of Alzheimer's should make sure that they indulge in mind stimulating activities almost every day. If you do not find scrabble interesting, then some other board games, offering brain twisting exercises, can also help.

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If the disease has already marked its damaging posture in the patient’s brain, and it is too late to consider any prevention measures, scrabble can be still a powerful weapon to delay the disastrous effects. Recent research from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, published in the "Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry", have demonstrated that any mentally stimulating activities such as games, can play a useful role alongside medication in improving the cognitive function of Alzheimer's patients. That is another plus for Scrabble, the various internet versions of which have grown the game into one of the most popular online today.

According to another research by Professor Andrew Carle at George Mason University, "progression of Alzheimer can be slowed down by playing different word games."

Irrespective of Alzheimer's Disease or other form of dementia, cognitive decline is a very common phenomena as we advance in years. Medical research teaches us clearly that keeping one's brain active with puzzles, games, study and similar means are an effective method of slowing the rate of age-related cognitive decline. Furthermore, the earlier in life one begins to regularly participate in such active brain games and pursuits, the longer it takes before any cognitive decline even begins.

Playing scrabble is a great exercise for the brain, as it has various elements that can keep the brain active. It requires logical thinking, anagramming, and placement decisions. All of these can prove to be great stimulants for the brain.

The lesson is clear. Play Scrabble and other brain-games regularly to enhance and maintain your overall mental health throughout life, and to help prevent Alzheimer's disease or other forms of age-related cognitive decline in your later life.

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Caregiving and Socializing

Playing games in which the Alzheimer's patient can participate is a great way to spend some quality time with the patient, whether at home or at the nursing facility. Although Alzheimer affects the patient's cognitive skills, however many Alzheimer patients retain their vocabulary even at the later stages of their disease. That is why Scrabble is a good choice to engage the patients of Alzheimer's disease.

One of the gravest problems of the Alzheimer's disease patients is that they become very lonely with the passing time. In addition to the logic of space and placement, spelling and rational thinking, it also provides additional opportunities for socializing, since it is a game that involves multiple players. Having a Scrabble group helps alleviate loneliness and depression---side effects and frustrations of aging and feeling isolated. A daily game of Scrabble will help keep the aging mind sharp and give the person something to look forward to every day.

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Online Scrabble – Play for Free

There are several ways to play Scrabble online, including some officially sanctioned sites and some unofficial sites where you can play Scrabble-like crossword games. We will present several options for your convenience:
1. Facebook: Two official versions of Scrabble are available on Facebook, one for residents of the U.S. and Canada and the other for residents of other countries. A third Scrabble-like game, Lexulous, is also available. (Lexulous was known as Scrabulous until lawsuits were filed against the creators by both Hasbro and Mattel.) Free registration is required to join Facebook.

2. Games.com: Games.com, run by AOL Games, offers players five versions of Scrabble, including the classic board game. Other versions include Scrabble Blast (play online or download), Scrabble Cubes (play online), Scrabble Journey (download only), and Scrabble Rack Attack (play online or download), and Just Words (single player and multi-player). Free registration is required to join Games.com.

3. Lexulous.com: In addition to being available at Facebook, Lexulous can be played at Lexulous.com. Free registration is required to join Lexulous.com.

4. Pogo.com
Pogo.com, run by Electronic Arts, is an official place to play Scrabble. Two versions are available: classic Scrabble (for two to four players) and Scrabble Blast (a solo game fairly described as Scrabble meets Boggle). Free registration is required to join Pogo.com.

5. Scrabb.ly: Scrabb.ly, an independent crossword game, is a massively multi-player online game. Once you play your first word, you keep building on your own work. Anytime you need to swap tiles, you lose a life (you only have a total of three). When your last life ends, your score is calculated.

6. Yahoo Games: Yahoo Games offers a game called Literati, a crossword game with similarities to Scrabble. Free registration is required to join Yahoo Games.

7. Online Scrabble: Online Scrabble is more difficult to navigate than some of the others, but it does offer a good free version of online scrabble, with a variety of different game modes like classic, tournament, etc.  If you get sick of playing the same old style on some of the other sites, then this site might be worth checking out.  It’s might not be your first choice for a site to play scrabble against a computer, but it’s not bad.

8. OnlineScrabbleFree: OnlineScrabbleFree offers to play scrabble and some other word games for free. No registration is required.

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Sources and Additional Information:

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