The Redemption of Simple Card Games


We’ve become so accustomed to our technologically advanced, computer-centric lives, that we now place little value on older and cheaper forms of entertainment, which it turns out can be just as helpful for stroke recovery as computer-based programs.

A new study in the medical journal Lancet Neurology shows that stroke victims need not rely on Nintendo Wii games to stimulate the mending of their damaged neurons. Older forms of entertainment, such as card games, Jenga, or simply throwing a ball against the wall can also improve strength, dexterity, and the ability to perform regular, daily tasks.

We currently spend so much of our daily lives in front of electronic devices that it’s always refreshing when we are given an excuse to get off of them. Stroke victims and their caregivers need no longer feel that they must purchase and then spend time playing expensive video games in order to get well.

Excerpt: “[Lead author Dr. Gustavo] Saposnik said in a statement that even he was surprised by the results, given that previous studies have concluded that virtual reality leisure activities are superior to traditional recreational activities for supplementing conventional rehab.

“We all like technology and have the tendency to think that new technology is better than old-fashioned strategies, but sometimes that’s not the case,” Saposnik said in the statement”.

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Common Drugs that May Shrink Your Brain


How often do you use cold medications when you are sick?  How long have you been taking your tri-cyclic anti-depressant?  Your answer could be used to determine your likelihood of developing dementia when you’re older.

A new report in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) has shown a strong link between the use of anti-cholinergic drugs, such as Benadryl, Advil, and Paxil, and an increased risk for dementia.

Short term use of these anti-cholinergic drugs may not cause any problems, but their effects appear to be cumulative.  The longer these drugs are taken, the greater the chance of developing dementia and other cognitive problems as you age.   This is problematic for those people who have been taking anti-cholinergic drugs for years.  People on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, Parkinson’s medications, and drugs for an over-active bladder may have felt they had little choice in the matter, but now that concerns are rising, it might be a good time to research other options.

The reason that anti-cholinergic drugs may be harmful to your brain is because they work by blocking acetylcholine.  That’s the chemical that transmits electrical impulses through your brain and other nerves, allowing you to learn and remember.  The longer acetylcholine is blocked, the more the brain appears to shrink.

If you have been taking anti-cholinergic drugs, now may be a good time to try to wean yourself off of them, particularly if you already have a family history of dementia.   Below is a link containing a list of common anti-cholinergic drugs.

Where Can I Find A List of Anticholinergic Drugs?

Excerpt:   “The ACT results add to mounting evidence that anticholinergics aren’t drugs to take long-term if you want to keep a clear head, and keep your head clear into old age. The body’s production of acetylcholine diminishes with age, so blocking its effects can deliver a double whammy to older people. It’s not surprising that problems with short-term memory, reasoning, and confusion lead the list of anticholinergic side effects, which also include drowsiness, dry mouth, urine retention, and constipation”.

Common anticholinergic drugs like Benadryl linked to increased dementia risk