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Utah bridge club spans six decades of card playing
Staying sharp » Women ages 78 to 95 share life, love and strategy.

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Paul Nussbaum, a clinical neuropsychologist who founded the Brain Health Center, Inc. that will open near Pittsburgh, Penn., this fall, has lectured on brain health around the United States and in other countries for 15 years.

Nussbaum advocates a holistic approach to brain fitness that includes nutrition, socialization, mental stimulation, physical activity and spirituality.

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"When you put your brain in a new and difficult situation, it likes that," Nussbaum said, referring to "brain resilience" that forms when the mind is actively engaged. "It’s not a cure, not even a prevention — but it provides a natural defense that can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s."

Nussbaum figures that the Holladay bridge players are reaping rewards well beyond the nickels and quarters they toss in the kitty.

"Bridge is complex, so they’re having to think in new ways," Nussbaum said. "They’re sharing stories and having fun, so they’re reducing stress. Maybe they can do a little walking and eat some fish — within a few hours they’ve been given all the elements that promote the health of the brain."

To this female gang of eight, they’ve found few things better than sharing life together over a fistful of cards.

"I think it helps keep the mind sharp. They say it does," Hilton said. "It gives me something to look forward to, that’s for sure."


Twitter: @catmck

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