Health

Fun and Potentially Good for the MS Brain

As winter nights close in, friends and family gather to wait out the dark and cold. These are often the times we might think of breaking out an old favorite board game.

Well, now we have another reason beyond passing the time: Turns out, board games can be good for us!

Games Improved Memory, Depression, and More

Frederico Emanuele Pozzi, MD, a neurology resident at Fondazione IRCCS San Gerardo dei Tintori in Monza, Italy, and a group of his colleagues recently presented evidence that playing board games has many potential benefits that are right in the destructive path of multiple sclerosis (MS), namely, cognitive decline, social isolation, depression, and decline in fine motor skills.

Researchers looked at studies evaluating the effects of playing chess, mahjong, and go (a strategy game popular in Asia) for an hour, once or twice per week, for three to four months. Although the studies focused on elderly people, there is little to say that the same results wouldn’t be seen in people with conditions like MS, which can also have cognitive involvement.

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