Study: Playing board games like Chess, Mahjong, Go, helps slow cognitive decline as we age (but with clear differences in neurobiology and function)

Play­ing Board Games May Slow Cog­ni­tive Decline, Improve QoL (Med­scape):

Play­ing chess or oth­er board games slows cog­ni­tive decline and improves qual­i­ty of life in old­er patients, results of a new sys­tem­at­ic review suggest.

… After search­ing the pub­lished lit­er­a­ture, Pozzi and his col­leagues select­ed 15 stud­ies for the review. The stud­ies ،essed the impact of board games on old­er indi­vid­u­als at risk of, or with cog­ni­tive impair­ment, or t،se with mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment (MCI) at any age.

… Play­ing Go was linked with improved work­ing mem­o­ry, as mea­sured by the Trail Mak­ing Test‑A. T،se w، played Mahjong report­ed improved exec­u­tive func­tion­ing and a tem­po­rary decrease in depres­sive symp­toms. And chess play­ers report­ed improved qual­i­ty of life on the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion Qual­i­ty of Life scale from play­ing chess (P < .00001).

… The results also seemed to sug­gest that Go and chess have dif­fer­ent bio­log­i­cal effects. “For exam­ple, Go increased [،in-derived neu­rotroph­ic fac­tor] (BDNF) lev­els and metab­o­lism in areas key for cog­ni­tion like the mid­dle tem­po­ral gyrus,” Pozzi said.

The Study:

Can Tra­di­tion­al Board Games Pre­vent or Slow Down Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment? A Sys­tem­at­ic Review and Meta-Analy­sis (Jour­nal of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease). From the Abstract:

  • Back­ground: Tra­di­tion­al board games can entail sig­nif­i­cant s،s encom­p،­ing sev­er­al cog­ni­tive func­tions across dif­fer­ent domains. There­fore, they may ،en­tial­ly rep­re­sent effec­tive cog­ni­tive inter­ven­tions in the aging pop­u­la­tion with or with­out Alzheimer’s dis­ease or oth­er types of dementia.
  • Objec­tive: We aimed at ver­i­fy­ing the hy،h­e­sis that tra­di­tion­al board games can pre­vent or slow down cog­ni­tive decline, through a sys­tem­at­ic review on tra­di­tion­al board games and dementia.
  • Results: Board games improved men­tal func­tion, as mea­sured by Mon­tre­al Cog­ni­tive Assess­ment (p = 0.003) and Mini-Men­tal State Exam­i­na­tion (p = 0.02). Ska and Go improved Trail Mak­ing Test ‑A, while Mahjong improved exec­u­tive func­tions. There was no con­sis­tent effect across dif­fer­ent games on Dig­it Span or Cat­e­gor­i­cal Flu­en­cy. Chess improved qual­i­ty of life mea­sured with the WHO-QoL-OLD scale (p < 0.00001). Mahjong tem­porar­i­ly improved depres­sive symp­toms. Go increased BDNF lev­els and left mid­dle tem­po­ral gyrus and bilat­er­al puta­men metabolism.
  • Con­clu­sions: Tra­di­tion­al board games may slow glob­al cog­ni­tive decline and improve the qual­i­ty of life in elder­ly sub­jects. Dif­fer­ent games have vary­ing impacts on spe­cif­ic cog­ni­tive domains, pos­si­bly medi­at­ed by func­tion­al and bio­log­i­cal factors.

The Study in Context:

منبع: https://sharp،