Study bares number, word puzzles help elders to stay sharp

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A group of researchers found out that doing number-puzzles can benefit one’s brain function.

An online survey was conducted to over 19,000 people, aged 50 to 93, “to examine whether number puzzle use is related to cognitive function in older adults.”

According to the study recently published on Wiley Online Library, respondents who engage in number puzzles more than once a day “had superior cognitive performance” or appeared to have sharper cognition.

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This finding is considered as another proof that puzzles can be effective for brain health.

“These findings further contribute to the growing evidence that engaging in mentally stimulating activities could benefit the brain function of the ageing population,” the study stated.

Researchers said that a total of 19,078 healthy volunteers enrolled on the online PROTECT study, where they were evaluated for self-reported frequency of performing number puzzles.

“Two cognitive-test batteries were employed to assess core aspects of cognitive function including reasoning, focused and sustained attention, information processing, executive function, working memory, and episodic memory,” the researchers said on the study.

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A report also emphasized that “people who do puzzles have brain function equivalent to 10 years younger than their age,” as it appeared on the study tests.

“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,” Dr. Anne Corbett, lead author and dementia lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical Schoo, said in a report.