Sharper Brains Associated with People Who Regularly Play Sudoku and Crossword Puzzles

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People play tons of puzzles all the time, and not just because they’re fun. Research has proven that aside from just enjoying certain types of mind games, people can also reap the mental benefits from finding ways to solve games like sudoku, word find, and crossword puzzles as well. 

Researchers from the University of Exeter and King’s College London conducted a study that showed ‘mind games can help keep your brain younger even as you age.’ The study was published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, which had evaluated at least 19,000 respondents, all between the ages of 50 to 93.

Each participant was made to complete a series of 10 cognitive tests every day for a week, which included number puzzles, word-matching games and the like. They were also asked to take note of how often they managed to solve these puzzles in their day-to-day life, citing answers like never to monthly, weekly, daily or even multiple times within a day.

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What researchers found was that those participants that engaged in daily word puzzles managed to do just as well as people that were 10-years their junior. Then, participants that did daily number puzzles were at par with those 8-years younger than them and even managed to get a higher score than everyone else. Both the word and number puzzle groups were also quick to react when tasked to press buttons on certain objects that were flashed on a computer screen.

Even before, scientists have believed that such problem-solving activities like number and word puzzles benefit and improve brain function, as well as safeguard brain from cognitive failure or decline as people age.

In fact, according to co-author of the study and senior lecturer in dementia research at the University of Exeter, Anne Corbett, Ph.D., “We’ve found that the more regularly people engage with puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku, the sharper their performance is across a range of tasks assessing memory, attention and reasoning. The improvements are particularly clear in the speed and accuracy of their performance.”

She also shared, “We can’t say that playing these puzzles necessarily reduces the risk of dementia in later life, but this research supports previous findings that indicate regular use of word and number puzzles helps keep our brains working better for longer.”

The other authors of the study concluded that individuals that regularly worked on puzzles “have brains which may work better for longer.” They also said that it was notable that participants that never played an mind games or puzzles had lower test results. 

If you are looking for ways to increase brain power and cognitive memory, while having fun as well, then take a look at these games here. You might not need to do them right at this moment, but making it a habit and continually attempting to increase your memory skills is one way that will help you keep your mind sharp and youthful!