Board Games Can Provide Quality of Life Improvements to Alzheimer Patients, New Study Suggests

27 January 2021
The exciting findings come from Game In Lab

Game in Lab is a game research support program run by Asmodee Research and the Innovation Factory, researching topics surrounding gaming and its impacts. Today, it has confirmed the findings of a clinical study, on the application of board games to Alzheimer's Treatment

“Over the past year, board games have enabled us all to play together, in the comfort and tranquillity of our homes, providing some relief, adventure and pleasure. However, we are convinced that playing games harbours greater potential and can play a true educational and even clinical role in our society,” said Stéphane Carville, CEO, Asmodee.

“Via Asmodee Research, we intend to demonstrate the tremendous impact playing games have on our brains and are delighted to support additional projects which can identify, research and prove new and important ways that games can help society”. 

The study itself found that adapted board games can improve the well being of Alzheimer's patients, helping better understand how board games can be used to benefit society. 

In its summary, it confirmed the main findings as follows: 

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·         Board games may be a valuable tool to improve an Alzheimer's patient’s quality of life when they fit with the player’s interest.

·         Board games can be used as cognitive and behavioral stimulation with positive effects for Alzheimer's patients, if done regularly.

·         Small tweaks to existing games - like printing out sheets with larger fonts or subbing in game pieces that might be more ergonomically accessible - can greatly improve Alzheimer's patients enjoyment while also increasing cognitive stimulation.

Whilst it made clear that this was not a treatment for Alzheimer's, it did represent helpful stimulation for patients that could improve quality of life, but adaptations would be needed, and it would be best served it suiting the interests of the patient. The results are positive and conducive to further research. 

Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative disease of the brain, which leads to dementia, decreasing memory and judgement, primarily (but not necessarily) found in older people. With no cure presently, the question is often asked how to improve quality of life for Alzheimer's sufferers despite the disease, and so research such as this is important in finding ways to support this.


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