Keeping mentally active with games and puzzles can stimulate and improve brain function in aging individuals. The idea that you need to 'use it or lose it' is an important shift from previously held beliefs that as we age our brain necessarily diminishes in agility, function and memory. Proper nutrition, social interaction and intellectually challenging activities can all keep the brain sharp.
Can people with Alzheimer's disease continue to learn? Most people would say that they cannot, as their short-term memory is deteriorating, and we need to hold a concept in our short-term memory before we can commit it to long term memory. However, a story by Angela Jimenez on nytimes.com tells of a doctor who has been proving this concept…