October 25, 2021

Crosswords improve cognition

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Dr. Gary Small, M.D., writes:

Many studies have demonstrated an association between mental stimulation from games, puzzles, and challenging tasks, and a lower risk for developing dementia.

A study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry suggests that doing daily crossword puzzles will improve cognitive performance.

Researchers randomly divided 37 middle-age and older adults into a crossword-puzzle group and a control group that wrote a daily entry in a diary rather than completing daily puzzles.

Before and after the four-week experiment, research volunteers were given assessments of different language skills, such as how quickly they could think of certain words.

Study volunteers in the crossword-puzzle group demonstrated significant improvements in their verbal cognitive skills, while the control volunteers did not.

These encouraging findings will likely make many crossword fans even more passionate about their puzzles.

Dr. Gary Small, M.D., author of the Mind Health Report newsletter, is a professor of psychiatry and aging, and director of the UCLA Longevity Center. Dr. Small, one of the nation’s top brain health experts, frequently appears on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Dr. Oz Show. He is co-author with wife Gigi Vorgan of many popular books, including the best-sellers The Memory Bible and 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain.
Dr. Gary Small, M.D., author of the Mind Health Report newsletter, is a professor of psychiatry and aging, and director of the UCLA Longevity Center. Dr. Small, one of the nation’s top brain health experts, frequently appears on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Dr. Oz Show. He is co-author with wife Gigi Vorgan of many popular books, including the best-sellers The Memory Bible and 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain.


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