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Puzzles and Alzheiemer's: A Perfect Fit for Patients

Posted by Administrator on 7/23/2013

Working on jigsaw puzzles has known benefits for people of all ages. It activates both halves of the brain: the left brain, analytic side, sees the separate pieces and how they might fit together logically; the right brain, creative side, sees the big picture and works through intuition. Exercising both sides of the brain enhances the connections between them. Also, dopamine, a brain chemical that increases learning and memory, is produced when puzzle pieces are dementia puzzlessuccessfully fit together.

2012 Cochrane Review of dementia research studies showed that the cognitive stimulation that occurs for people with Alzheimer's while doing activities, such as puzzles, provides a beneficial effect on the memory and thinking test scores of people with dementia. This was a benefit that was at least as good as medications, if not more so.
 
The MindStart puzzles are designed specifically by an occupational therapist for people with dementia. The puzzle pieces are large, and the number of puzzle pieces is less, compared to a traditional puzzle. The images are vibrant and have less detail, making it more obvious for the person of how adjacent pieces will fit together
 
Caregivers of patients with dementia reported positive results when using the MindStart puzzles, including giving the person a sense of accomplishment and opening doors for communication between the person with dementia and the caregiver. Even the person who may have not done puzzles in the past may enjoy this brain activity.
 

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