There is mounting evidence that Bridge is much more than just a game.
Not only does Warren Buffett play the game, he encourages Berkshire Shareholders by setting up a bridge area outside Borsheims at the annual shareholder meeting.
Now this New York Times article adds what I have already been learning: Bridge is extremely effective at delaying the onset of all sorts of age related mental deterioration.
So far, scientists here have found little evidence that diet or exercise affects the risk of dementia in people over 90. But some researchers argue that mental engagement — doing crossword puzzles, reading books — may delay the arrival of symptoms. And social connections, including interaction with friends, may be very important, some suspect. In isolation, a healthy human mind can go blank and quickly become disoriented, psychologists have found.
“There is quite a bit of evidence now suggesting that the more people you have contact with, in your own home or outside, the better you do” mentally and physically, Dr. Kawas said. “Interacting with people regularly, even strangers, uses easily as much brain power as doing puzzles, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this is what it’s all about.”
And bridge, she added, provides both kinds of stimulation.
At the Berkshire meeting, I met and talked to a physician’s assistant, who gave anecdotal evidence: In her view, bridge players – even more than chess players, do better as they age. Apparently, bridge excercises more mental pathways in the brain than even chess.