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Why this trending game may ward off dementia.

Dr Theron Hutton MD


I admit, I don't really love online games. In our house we've tried (not always successfully) to limit gaming and online entertainment for a variety of reasons. One game I'm less reluctant to make an exception for is Wordle.


Wordle is an online word game that has been popular since its inception in 2008. It was created by Jonathan Feinberg, a software engineer at Google, as a way to relax and pass the time during his lunch breaks. Wordle quickly gained popularity and became a hit among online gamers.


In Wordle, players are given a set of letters and must use them to create as many words as possible within a set time limit. The game is played in a series of rounds, and the player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. Wordle has a simple, intuitive interface that makes it easy for players of all skill levels to enjoy.


Over the years, Wordle has undergone several updates and improvements. In 2010, a mobile version of the game was released for iPhone and Android devices, allowing players to enjoy Wordle on the go. In 2011, a multiplayer mode was added, allowing players to compete against each other in real time.


Despite its simplicity, Wordle has proven to be a highly addictive and engaging game, with a dedicated community of players who compete regularly online. It has also gained a reputation as a useful tool for improving vocabulary and language skills, making it a popular choice among educators and language learners.


And a bonus is that Wordle may prevent dementia.


There is some evidence to suggest that engaging in certain types of cognitively stimulating activities, such as playing word games, like Wordle, may help to reduce the risk of developing dementia and other age-related cognitive decline.





One study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity found that older adults who participated in a program of regularly playing word games and other cognitively stimulating activities experienced improvements in cognitive function and quality of life compared to a control group who did not participate in the program (Baker, Frank, Foster-Schubert, Green, Wilkinson, McTiernan, & Chodzko-Zajko, 2010).


Another study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that older adults who engaged in cognitively stimulating activities, including word games and puzzles, had a lower risk of developing dementia compared to those who did not engage in these activities (Wilson, Beckett, Barnes, Schneider, Bach, Evans, & Bennett, 2002).


So, If you are going to be an game player give Wordle a try. Your brain may thank you.


What game do you love playing at your house?


References:

  • Baker, LD, Frank, LL, Foster-Schubert, K, Green, PS, Wilkinson, CW, McTiernan, A, & Chodzko-Zajko, WJ. (2010). Effects of cognitive training interventions with older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 18(2), 188-217.

  • Wilson, RS, Beckett, LA, Barnes, LL, Schneider, JA, Bach, J, Evans, DA, & Bennett, DA. (2002). Individual differences in rates of change in cognitive abilities of older persons. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 50(2), 145-153.

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