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EBED Spring & Autumn Sims to support research in to cognitive benefits of bridge

EBED is taking a scientific approach to establish whether playing bridge delays 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 is planning a research project at Imperial College, London that will scan the brains of bridge players and compare them to appropriate controls. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology will allow scientists to examine the brain in states of rest and then examine the networks and connections utilised whilst undertaking a cogitative task such as playing cards. It will allow them to examine the differences in the anatomical structure and function of the brain in bridge players and non-bridge playing controls.

For the first time it will be possible to see which areas of the brain are activated during a game of bridge. At the end of the project there will be a quantitative measure of the possible neurological benefits of bridge.

As part of these investigations EBED will also examine the social benefits of playing bridge in collaboration with Professor Samantha Punch, University of Stirling. It will try to establish how much of the health benefits are due to the social interactions provided by bridge playing and how much is due to the cognitive activity of playing cards.

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 www.ebu.co.uk/sim-pairs.