Older adults who regularly take part in word and number puzzles have sharper brains, according to the largest online study to date. The new research builds on these findings and also reports the same effect in people who regularly complete number puzzles. Researchers asked participants in the PROTECT study , the largest online cohort in older adults, to report how frequently they engage in word and number puzzles and undertake a series of cognitive tests sensitive to measuring changes in brain function. They found that the more regularly participants engaged with the puzzles, the better they performed on tasks assessing attention, reasoning and memory. From their results, researchers calculate that people who engage in word puzzles have brain function equivalent to ten years younger than their age, on tests assessing grammatical reasoning and eight years younger than their age on tests measuring short term memory. The improvements are particularly clear in the speed and accuracy of their performance. Currently, more than 22, healthy people aged between 50 and 96 are registered in the study, and the study is expanding into other countries including Hong Kong and the US.
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Date: May 16, ; Source: University of Exeter; Summary: Older adults who regularly take part in word and number puzzles have sharper brains, according to.
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By Denise Sutherland. People love to do puzzles of all kinds, but cryptic crosswords are often seen as a challenging form of entertainment — delight may be rare to anyone new to cryptics! While they do look completely incomprehensible at first glance, cryptic clues are actually written along strict guidelines. The majority of clues in a cryptic crossword adhere to these standards:. Astonishing, but true! The definition part of the clue will always be at the start or end of the clue, and never sandwiched in the middle.
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Older adults who regularly take part in word and number puzzles have sharper brains, according to the largest online study to date. The more regularly adults aged 50 and over played puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku, the better their brain function, according to research in more than 19, participants, led by the University of Exeter and King’s College London. The findings emerge from two linked papers published today May 16th in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
The researchers have previously presented their findings on word puzzles at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in The new research builds on these findings and also reports the same effect in people who regularly complete number puzzles. Researchers asked participants in the PROTECT study, the largest online cohort in older adults, to report how frequently they engage In word and number puzzles and undertake a series of cognitive tests sensitive to measuring changes in brain function.
They found that the more regularly participants engaged with the puzzles, the better they performed on tasks assessing attention, reasoning and memory. From their results, researchers calculate that people who engage in word puzzles have brain function equivalent to ten years younger than their age, on tests assessing grammatical reasoning and eight years younger than their age on tests measuring short term memory.
Dr Anne Corbett, of the University of Exeter Medical School, who led the research, said: “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. In some areas the improvement was quite dramatic — on measures of problem-solving, people who regularly do these puzzles performed equivalent to an average of eight years younger compared to those who don’t.
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. Currently, more than 22, healthy people aged between 50 and 96 are registered in the study, and the study is expanding into other countries including Hong Kong and the US. The online platform enables researchers to conduct and manage large-scale studies without the need for laboratory visits.