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Doing regular crosswords helps your brain stay younger

A study of more than 19,000 people over 50 revealed that regularly doing crosswords and Sudoku puzzles resulted in better brain function.

The data revealed that, on average, older people who took part in daily crossword and Sudoku puzzles had the same brain function as someone 10 years younger during grammatical reasoning tests, and 8 years younger on tests relating to short-term memory.

The study was conducted by the University of Exeter and King’s College London, who asked participants through the PROTECT study, the largest online study of older adults, to report how often they did word and number puzzles. They were then asked to take part in a series of cognitive tests designed to measure brain function. The conclusion was that: “…the more regularly people engage with puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku, the sharper their performance across a range of tasks assessing memory, attention and reasoning.” (Dr Anne Corbett).

The Alzheimer’s Society helped fund the project, and Dr James Pickett is hopeful that this research will have benefits for the dementia community, despite no direct link established between regular puzzle-solving and reducing dementia risk.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t yet mean that regular games of Sudoku or jigsaw puzzles will definitely prevent dementia. It’s an important first step – and we are proud to have helped fund the study as it lays the foundations for more research into the relationship between a love of ‘puzzling’ and reducing dementia risk.”

Our home care experts know just how important keeping an active mind can be and ensure that all those we support receive both the physical and mental stimulation needed to live a varied and balanced lifestyle. To arrange a free care consultation, don't hesitate to contact Burley's Home Care!

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