Go ahead and play, doctors tout benefits of 'Words With Friends'

Cleveland Clinic doctor says online games can stimulate brain, keep it sharp

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3. Words With Friends. Zynga's addictive online board game pits friends against each other much like Scrabble.

Anyone feeling like they are wasting time playing games like 'Words With Friends' or 'Song Pop' could be doing just what the doctor ordered.

Experts in dementia and the aging process believe playing these games can help keep a person's brain sharp.

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

They key while playing these games is to keep yourself challenged by working to get to more difficult levels.

"That thinking process where you're not really sure what the answer is forces your brain to make new connections and to learn," said Factora

Doctors say not to limit the games to what is on your smart phone. They say card games, crossword puzzles and learning a musical instrument can help keep your brain sharp too.

"This is not the only thing you're going do. You need to find things to keep the rest of your body in shape," said Factora.

Exercise and walking can be linked to brain health. The other advice, take a break from the screens to spend some real face-to-face time with friends and family.

Computer games have never been proven to prevent dementia and any possible brain benefits from the game are reaped when played in moderation only.

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