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Crosswords and number puzzles may help the brain age better

A pencil lying on a crossword puzzle.

June 25, 2019—Routinely doing puzzles like crosswords and Sudoku may help your brain work better for longer, new research suggests.

Researchers found that adults who said they often played these types of puzzles did as well on tests measuring problem-solving as those eight years younger. The same went for tests of short-term memory too. And they did as well on tests measuring grammatical reasoning as people 10 years their junior.

Overall, the more often people did puzzles, the better their brain functioned.

The researchers couldn't conclude, however, that puzzle fans reduced their risk of dementia. But they said the new findings support past research that found that doing puzzles may keep brains working better as people age.

The research was conducted in the United Kingdom. The findings were published in two linked papers in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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