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Puzzles Not Exercise Keep Seniors Sharp

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Puzzles Not Exercise Keep Seniors Sharp

Memory aided by six across instead of a brisk walk

Give mom a crossword puzzle and prevent memory decline, says a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Researchers reviewed studies that examined the effects of mental exercises involving computerized training programs or one-on-one training in memory, reasoning or processing speed. One study found significant improvements in the elderly participants’ memory over five years of follow-up. Another study found improvement in auditory memory and attention.

The CMAJ study also found that supplements and physical exercise did little to benefit memory. Estrogen actually appeared to increase mental decline.

“This review provides evidence to help clinicians and patients address what strategies might prevent cognitive decline,” said Raza Naqvi, M.D., one of the study co-authors. “Future studies should address the impact of cognitive training on the prevention of cognitive decline, and we encourage researchers to consider easily accessible tools such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku.”

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BHM Edit Staff