Page 0037


April 2016 English Bridge

THERE is a commonly held view that those playing

bridge beyond the age of 60 tend to remain alert

into their 80s and 90s. There is no doubt that bridge

playing requires higher cognitive processes

associated with the frontal areas of the cerebral

cortex. But is it true that the game can help

maintain brain fitness?

There are 850,000 people with dementia in the

UK, with numbers set to rise to over one million by

2025. EBED, the English charity for Bridge

Education and Development, is now taking a

scientific approach to establish whether playing

bridge offers benefits in later life, including delaying

the onset and severity of dementia. With little

scientific investigation so far, EBED is fundraising

to enable a formal scientific evaluation of the topic.


All proceeds from the EBED Simultaneous Pairs

events in May and September will go towards

funding EBED's work. Simply by playing in one of

the Sim Pairs - or by helping your club to organise

a heat - you will be assisting a project which will

make a difference not only to bridge players, but to

the health and wellbeing of the general public.


EBED has begun a collaboration with Professor

Samantha Punch (a Scottish international bridge

player) at the University of Stirling to try to

establish how much of the health benefits

recognised from playing bridge are due to the social

interactions provided, and how much is due to the

cognitive activity of playing cards.

There is a sense of purpose and community in a

bridge club and this probably enhances the

wellbeing of those regularly attending. EBED will

undertake an investigation about the social

networks and interactions, to examine measures of

social isolation, sense of community and wider

implications of what bridge adds to the health and

wellbeing of players. Will there be an amplified

effect on the wellbeing of bridge players attending a

club compared to those who play bridge online in

social isolation?

EBED is also hoping to undertake a research

project at Imperial College, London that will scan

the brains of bridge players and compare them to

appropriate controls. There has been a revolution in

technology used to image the brain over the last

decade. Functional magnetic resonance imaging

(fMRI) is a relatively new procedure that uses MR

imaging to measure tiny metabolic changes that

take place in an active part of the brain. The fMRI

technology allows scientists to examine the brain in

states of rest and then examine the networks and

connections utilised while undertaking a cogitative

task such as playing cards. It would allow them to

examine the differences in the anatomical structure

and function of the brain in bridge players and nonbridge

playing controls.

If the scanning takes place it will be possible to

see, for the first time, which areas of the brain are

activated during a game of bridge. At the end of the

project there would be a quantitative measure of the

possible neurological benefits of bridge.

The different elements of the project would have

benefits to the wider society. We hope it will

demonstrate health care benefits to the general 'non

playing' ageing population and encourage new

players into the game. A delay in the onset of the

ageing process by an average of just one year, or a

modest 10-15 per cent improvement in mental

awareness, could generate considerable cost savings.

It would relieve some of the economic burden on

formal services, and reduce the strain on those who

give informal care support.


Please encourage your club to take part in one of

EBED's Sim Pairs events. And then take part in a

heat yourself. Information for clubs on how to

register, and a list of clubs which are taking part, are

available at" target="_blank" title="Visit">

For more information on the project please contact r

Bridge for Brains

EBED's scientiic project to assess bridge beneits


  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0022
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056
  57. Page 0057
  58. Page 0058
  59. Page 0059
  60. Page 0060
  61. Page 0061
  62. Page 0062
  63. Page 0063
  64. Page 0064
  65. Page 0065
  66. Page 0066
  67. Page 0067
  68. Page 0068
  69. Page 0069
  70. Page 0070
  71. Page 0071
  72. Page 0072