Do digital games improve your mind or hurt it?

10:57 AM, Feb 25, 2013   |    comments
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Now technology isn't all bad... Do you think playing online games give you a boost in brain power... or instead be a brain drain?
NBC's Erika Edwards talks to the experts.

classic board games are getting an online facelift, thanks to facebook and other social media outlets...

all the rage are games like "words with friends" and "song pop" ... and some think playing them may help keep the brain sharp.

the good news is -- experts in dementia and the aging process agree!

Dr. Ronan Factora - Cleveland Clinic: "These sorts of games that you can do online, they certainly will help stimulate to the brain and keep you challenged, make you work."

the key is keeping yourself challenged -- by working to reach more difficult levels.

Dr. Ronan Factora - Cleveland Clinic: "That thinking process where you're not really sure what the answer is forces your brain to make new connections and to learn."

but of course using a smart phone isn't the only way to stay smart.

doctors still tout low-tech brain activities, too -- like card games... crossword puzzles... and learning a musical instrument.

Dr. Ronan Factora - Cleveland Clinic: "This is not the only thing you're gonna do. You need to find things to keep the rest of your body in shape."

exercise and even simple walking have been linked to brain health.

and... step away from the screen every once in a while.. for some real face time with friends.

it's important to remember computer games have never been proven to prevent dementia. doctors say any possible brain benefits are sure to be reaped when played in moderation -only.

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