I recently read an article from Parkinson’s News Today that explores the use of Computer Games as a non-drug therapy for Parkinson’s Disease. Being an addictive person who spends way too much time on the computer anyway, I had to check this out. Can I really justify the minutes – ok hours – spent playing games on my iPad as therapy for my brain? This sounds too good to be true.
The scientific study titled, “Early stage feasibility assessment of a non-pharmacological intervention for motor slowing and fatigue in Parkinson’s disease,” will be conducted by researchers from Bangor University’s School of Psychology(BUSP), the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), and Walton Centre in Liverpool.
They say that the project will record Parkinson’s disease patients’ movement ability before and after playing touch screen “spatial reasoning games” to assess motor function and potential improvements.
That sounds great, but shouldn’t there also be a study looking at complex reasoning tasks and cognitive ability in games such as Sudoku and Word Brain, where the puzzles get more and more challenging as you progress? I have been playing these games for a while, and can judge how well I am doing cognitively by how well I do on the games on any given day. Being able to solve the most difficult Sudoku games is an accomplishment and a measure of cognitive ability. Some days, I have no problems solving the games. On those days, I feel that my brain is working the way it should. Other days, it is just plain difficult and I have to work harder to achieve my goals.
Word Brain is a word search puzzle, which starts out very easy with a 2 X 2 puzzle and progresses through 20 levels 0f 20 games each, most of which are 6 X 6. The difficulty increases with each level. Like Sudoku and other games, it requires higher and higher levels of problem solving as you progress.
Do you have a favorite computer game that stimulates your brain? Please share it here: