Remember, remember...

My mountain of shopping had just started along the conveyor belt towards the supermarket checkout when I realised I'd forgotten my purse. Oh, the pitying looks, as I piled it all back in the trolley and muttered an excuse – "I've just returned from holiday" – but I could hardly claim jet-lag from Venice. It was more proof that my brain is crumbling to mush.

I can't remember a time when I walked purposefully into a room and headed straight for the object I wanted. Being scatty does have its advantages. The cardiovascular workout that I get running up and down stairs, forgetting what I came for, means that I am fizzingly fit.

"But it's your brain that needs a workout," muttered a still, small voice. Yes, I'm talking to myself as well.

I'm a computer-literate, working grandmother but I'm useless at sudoku and easily bored with crosswords. So how fit is my brain?

A 40-year-old friend had tested his with Nintendo's multi-million-selling Brain Training computer program. This gives a sensational instant assessment of your "brain age".

"The trouble is," he told me, "one day it told me my brain age was 85 and the next day, on a different test, it was 25."

I'd read Telegraph science editor Roger Highfield's recent article about MindFit, the "mental gym" computer program. He described a two-year clinical trial which assigned 121 volunteers, aged 50-plus, to use either MindFit or a variety of other "brain games".

MindFit users experienced a significantly greater improvement than others, and in a variety of areas, such as short-term memory (15 per cent improvement) and simple reaction time (19 per cent improvement).

That's the "science bit", as Jennifer Aniston used to say in the shampoo commercial. But for fiftysomething babyboomers like me, MindFit looks like a practical and positive way to fight off those "what was I saying?" moments, when names, places and reading glasses prove hard to locate.

Source - Telegraph

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