I've been asking for a Nintendo DS for two years for the specific reason that I wanted to use the game Brain Age to keep my wits as sharp as possible as I age. After helping with my father-in-law, who had Alzheimer's Disease, I know I do not want to be a victim of that life-stealing ailment. They say that there are little things you can do to help keep your mind alert, and that the game Brain Age is one of them.
This year I finally got what I asked for, and not a moment too soon. It was Christmas evening and I kept having ‘senior moments' while everyone was opening their presents, so that when I finally got around to opening my gift from my kids - the Nintendo DS with the first Brain Age game- it was quite the joke!
The different ‘training' games that you play are very simple and based on how long it takes you to complete, together with how many you get correct. Simple arithmetic calculations in sets of twenty or one hundred, reading aloud, some memory type games among others are included.
Dr. Ryuta Kawashima of Japan is the prominent neuroscientist whose work the game is based on. His animated head ‘talks' to you, explaining as you go. This part of the game is pretty goofy, but is kind of cute, too.
Don't expect great graphics or anything like that. This is pretty straight forward. A stylus comes with the DS and this is how you answer your math problems. You just write in your answers. Some of the games allow you to speak your answers.
Sudoku is an added bonus game.
I am 58 years old and I started out with a Brain Age of 71. (I believe that is partly because I was unfamiliar and didn't know what to expect) I have now improved to a Brain Age of 49. It's getting better! The goal is to reach a Brain Age of 20.
This takes just a few minutes a day, and I'm going to keep it up so that my Brain Age will continue to match my (young at) heart age.