If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), I’m sure you are also struggling with the daily symptoms that come with it; whether it be mental or physical. MS is an unpredictable, terrifying disease of the central nervous system that interrupts and damages the flow of information within the brain and body.
I’ve had to witness and unfortunately hear, over time what Multiple Sclerosis can do to the human body. My mother has had MS for years now and I’ve definitely been able to notice the changes and hear the pain that it causes. Of course, it took me a little while to accept at first that my ‘hero’ was going through all of this- I didn’t want to believe it! No one wants to see the person they love struggle daily while also not being able to help or do anything.
This horrible disease called MS causes cognitive, behavioral, and physical changes to the body. Since I have been away from home, I have noticed cognitive changes in my mom via our talks over the phone.
Memory problems are among the most common cognitive changes. Most people with MS do eventually struggle with some level of memory loss.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), “there is a 50 percent chance that a person will experience some type of cognitive deficit due to the condition.” Therefore, exercising your mind is a very important part of staying healthy!
If you are currently dealing with specific cognitive changes, there are certain types of brain games that can definitely help and will stimulate your mind! Talk with your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing and give these brain games a try!
These games were designed to improve memory and other cognitive impairment issues including processing speed, problem-solving, reasoning, visual perception, mental problems, and more. You can use this on your computer or you can download the apps for it. The downside? It’s not free.
This website has been very popular lately. There have been ads online and commercials on tv as well. It offers a large variety of games that focus on improving memory, attention, and processing speed. You can play these games on your computer or download the app to your smartphone/tablet.
3) Sequencing Games
These types of games help to improve problem-solving, mental flexibility, and reasoning. Write down the amount of time you spend playing each game, including your scores! Sequencing games include those such as solitaire, dominoes, and sudoku.
4) Brain Age game
This is more of a video game and it’s used with Nintendo Wii and DSi. Brain Age game includes games that are targeted to improve attention, memory, visual perception, and processing speed. The game activities have different levels and difficulties as well!
5) Brain Age
This can be used to improve executive cognitive functions such as problem solving, memory, attention, visual perception, reasoning, mental flexibility, AND processing speed. Brain Age is for Nintendo Wii and DSi.
6) Jigsaw Puzzles
These are great for working on visual perception skills. You can also time yourself to help work on your processing speed. Keep a log book or table to write down your times to compare each one! Tip: We discovered a jigsaw puzzle that you can play on your phone!
This board game helps with problem-solving, sequencing, reasoning, language, and mental flexibility. You can enjoy and play scrabble with friends or family or you can play on your smartphone by downloading the app!
8) Search and Find Games
Search and find games work on your visual perception skills and processing speed. These games include word searches, mazes, number searches, and hidden pictures.
9) Crossword Puzzles
Crossword puzzles are a very popular and well-known game. Did you know, playing a crossword puzzle a little bit every day has been shown to improve cognitive impairment problems related to sequencing, problem-solving, language, and mental flexibility?
10) Staying Sharp
AARP has developed a program called Staying Sharp and it’s FREE for AARP members. It’s one of the most comprehensive programs we’ve tried. Click on the link above to read more about our experience.
No matter which game you play, it’s important to just get started. Just like the muscles in our body, the neurons in our brain need to work (aka neuroplasticity).
Brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity, is the ability for the brain to recover and restructure itself. This adaptive potential of the nervous system allows the brain to recover after disorders or injuries and to reduce the effects of altered structures due to pathologies such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cognitive deterioration, Alzheimer’s, dyslexia, ADHD, insomnia, etc.
Have fun, be well, and work that brain! 😀
**Disclaimer- This post is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice.