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Neurologist: Chess A Brain-Builder For All Ages

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(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)

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(CBS) – No matter what your age, a Chicago area neurologist says chess offers a way to improve your brain.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports researchers long have said the cognitive skills developed by playing chess help older people stave off the effects of dementia, and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.

However, in a YouTube video posted by Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, neurologist Franco Campanella said chess can be helpful to children as well, stimulating neurons in the front brain of the brain that’s underdeveloped in teenagers.

That’s the part of the brain involved in decision-making. Campanella said chess forces you to think ahead.

“If a teenager is saying, ‘Boy, I’m having fun with my friends, and I’m going to go ahead and today we’re having a binge drinking session,’ you may not be thinking about, ‘And then I’m going to get in a car and drive home,'” Campanella said. “If you’re thinking three steps ahead, it may be that you would think that.”

He said, no matter how old you are, learning chess can be a prescription for a sharper mind.

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