Daily crosswords are good for the brain, research suggests. Recent research indicates that people who frequently play word puzzles and crosswords tend to have a younger brain age than those who don’t.
The online study was administered by Exeter University and King’s College London. The study used over 17,000 participants, aged from 50 to 96. The participants were tested on their attention skills, short-term memory and response to grammatical tests. Those who completed one or more crosswords per day had the best test results. Although those who played other word puzzles and games also did well.
The professor of cognitive neuroscience at Exeter University’s medical school, Keith Wesnes, concluded. “On test measures of grammatical reasoning speed and short-term memory accuracy, performing word puzzles was associated with an age-related reduction of around 10 years.”
There is currently no cure for dementia. But research like this could give valuable insights into ways to prevent or delay the disease. Currently, around 850,000 people in the UK have dementia. And 40,000 of these cases are in people under 65 who have early onset dementia. Further clinical trials will be required to fully understand whether crosswords could help those with early onset dementia.