Older adults who regularly do Sudoku or crossword puzzles have sharper brains that are 10 YEARS younger, the study finds
- University of Exeter and King & # 39; s College London conducted the research
- They analyzed data from 19,000 participants who completed an online survey
- They were asked to report how often they deal with challenging puzzles
- And they conducted a series of tests to measure changes in brain function
Crossword puzzles and Sudoku can keep your brain a decade younger in middle age.
Sitting down once a day to do a puzzle has a dramatic effect on memory and can help to ward off dementia at a later age.
The largest and most detailed joint study of how puzzles affect the over-50s asked people to conduct a series of cognitive tests for a week.
Those who did word puzzles every day performed as well as people who were ten years younger, the researchers found. Number puzzle enthusiasts had the thinking skills of people eight years younger.
The more often adults 50 and older tried puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku, the better their brain function, the study found
This suggests that the puzzles can ward off a declining memory in old age, causing a mental & # 39; reserve & # 39; which experts believe can prevent or delay dementia.
Dr. Anne Corbett, senior author of the two word and number puzzle studies at the University of Exeter, said: & # 39; Most people involved in this study did crosswords or sudoku, practicing memory and problem-solving ability and improve focus.
& # 39; the working theory behind this is that the brain is a muscle like any other in the body, and by continuing to use it, they will improve their ability and adaptability.
& # 39; The brain consists of many connections, which we must use regularly for activities such as puzzles, so that we do not lose them. & # 39;
More than 19,000 people were asked how often they completed word and number puzzles, with answers ranging from never to monthly, weekly, daily, or more than once a day.
Participants, aged 50 to 93, then completed detailed online cognitive tests every day for a week.
Over all 10 tests, including remembering number sequences or matching images after they disappeared, those who did number puzzles daily scored higher than everyone else.
People who did word puzzles daily scored higher in nine out of 10 tests. Both sets of people had much faster response times and pressed buttons faster when selected objects flashed on a computer screen.
The results, published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, show that those who did puzzles daily had the short-term memory of people who were eight years younger.
Those who made word puzzles had the problem-solving skills of people ten years younger, based on a test in which they saw a diagram of a square in a circle and marked sentences like & # 39; the circle includes the square & # 39; as true or false.
The research is part of the ongoing & # 39; Protect & # 39; study into brain health of people over 50, who are still recruiting participants.
The authors, including King & # 39; s College London, conclude that puzzle enthusiasts have brains that can work longer. They saw considerably lower test results in people who had not made any puzzles at all.
Dr. Corbett said: & # 39; We have found that the more regularly people work with puzzles such as crosswords and sudoku, the sharper their performance is in a series of memory, attention, and reasoning tasks. & # 39;
WHAT IS DEMENTIA? KILLER DISEASE ROBT SUFFERED BY THEIR MEMORIES
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a series of neurological disorders
A WORLDWIDE CARE
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a series of progressive neurological disorders, that is, disorders affecting the brain.
There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer's is the most common.
Some people may have a combination of types of dementia.
Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience his dementia in his own unique way.
Dementia is a global problem, but it is most often seen in richer countries, where people are likely to live to very old ages.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?
The Alzheimer's & # 39; s Society reports that today more than 850,000 people with dementia live in the UK, more than 500,000 of whom have Alzheimer's.
It is estimated that by 2025 the number of people with dementia in the UK will increase to more than 1 million.
In the US there are an estimated 5.5 million people with Alzheimer's. A comparable percentage increase is expected in the coming years.
As the age of a person increases, so does the risk of dementia.
The diagnoses are increasing but many people with dementia are still not diagnosed.
IS THERE A CURE?
There is currently no cure for dementia.
But new drugs can slow their progress and the sooner it is noticed, the more effective are treatments.
Source: Alzheimer's & # 39; s Society
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