Published: June 6, 2019

Older adults who regularly do crosswords have better brain function, study finds

Older adults who regularly do word and number puzzles have better brain function, a study has found.

The more often adults aged 50 and over attempted challenges such as crosswords and Sudoku, the sharper their brains, according to the findings.

University of Exeter and King's College London academics carried out research into more than 19,000 participants of an online survey.

They were asked to report how often they engage in word and number puzzles, and to undertake a series of cognitive tests sensitive to measuring changes in brain function.

The scientists found the more regularly participants engaged with the puzzles, the better they performed on tasks assessing attention, reasoning and memory.

Researchers used their results to calculate that people who engage in word puzzles have a brain function equivalent to 10 years younger than their age, on tests assessing grammatical reasoning, and eight years younger than their age on tests measuring short-term memory.

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9th September 2020

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