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Word And Number Puzzles May Help Maintain Cognitive Function


While a certain amount of cognitive decline occurs naturally with aging, there are ways to combat that decline. A new study suggests that older adults who take part in word and number puzzles on a regular basis have better brain function.





Researchers from the University of Essex evaluated data from 19,078 participants taking part in the online PROTECT study. The participants reported how frequently they engage in word and number puzzles. They also took two cognitive-test batteries that assessed reasoning, focused and sustained attention, information processing, executive function, working memory, and episodic memory.





The researchers found that people who engage in word and number puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku more than once a day had brain function equivalent to ten years younger than their age on tests assessing grammatical reasoning. They also had brain function equivalent to eight years younger than their age on tests measuring short term memory.





The study was published online ahead of print on February 11, 2019 in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.


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