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Alzheimer's and dementia patients enroll in ping pong program

Photographer Lucy Nicholson visited a program for people with Alzheimer's and dementia at the Arthur Gilbert table tennis center in Los Angeles.

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Holocaust survivor Betty Stein, 92, is helped by coach Irina Jestkova as she plays ping pong at a program for people with Alzheimer's and dementia at the Arthur Gilbert table tennis center in Los Angeles, California, on June 15.

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Freyda Dvorak, 87, takes a break while playing ping pong at the Arthur Gilbert table tennis center.

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Betty Stein plays ping pong.

Reuters reports:

Founder Mikhail Zaretsksky says the sport does not cure, or even slow down the disease, but helps the 100 participants by raising their heart rate and the blood flow to their brains, and exercising them mentally as well as physically. He says it helps their depression, improves their balance, and makes them more alert.  

Read more about the program in The Los Angeles Times.