London, July 17 : Love to play word puzzles such as crosswords? It may improve brain function and keep your brain ten years younger, a study has found.
The results indicated that the more regularly people engaged with word puzzles, the better they performed on cognitive tasks assessing attention, reasoning and memory -- decline of which may lead to the development of dementia.
Further, such people also have brain function equivalent to ten years younger than their age on tests of grammatical reasoning speed and short-term memory accuracy.
"We found direct relationships between the frequency of word puzzle use and the speed and accuracy of performance on nine cognitive tasks assessing a range of aspects of function, including attention, reasoning and memory," said Keith Wesnes, Professor at the University of Exeter in Britain.
"Performance was consistently better in those who reported engaging in puzzles and generally improved incrementally with the frequency of puzzle use," Wesnes added.
For the study, presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017 held in London, the team analysed data from more than 17,000 healthy people aged 50 and over, submitted in an online trial.
Along with keeping the mind active, exercising, avoiding smoking and eating a healthy balanced diet may also help reduce the risk of developing dementia, the researchers suggested.