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Brain training games 'do more harm than good'

If you ignore physical workout and think that brain training games would hold back the onset of mental decline as you age, do think again, for researchers have claimed that they could do more harm than good.

world Updated: Feb 11, 2009 16:56 IST

If you ignore physical workout and think that brain training games would hold back the onset of mental decline as you age, do think again, for researchers have claimed that they could do more harm than good.

A new study, published in the 'Alzheimer's & Dementia' journal, has suggested that if healthy older users neglect the proven benefits of physical exercise in favour of the popular games then they could be harming their health.

An international team, which carried out the study, has found "no evidence" that brain exercise programmes "delay or slow progression of cognitive changes in healthy elderly".

In fact, the researchers came to the conclusion after looking at trials undertaken since 1992 on the impact of brain exercises known as "cognitive training" on old people. They found that few trials met their criteria and those that did were often limited or lacking in follow-up.

And, the study concluded that more research is needed into the medium and long-term impact of brain training games which are often advertised in high profile campaigns fronted by Nicole Kidman, Julie Walters and Patrick Stewart.