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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How Crossword Puzzles Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading diseases affecting the lives of the elderly today. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases. This sometimes deadly disease is often found in people over the age of 60, however it has also been documented that people as young as 40 or 50 can be affected. So what can you do to help prevent the onset of this devastating disease?

One of the suggestions made by the Alzheimer’s Association was to play crossword puzzles! Let’s find out how crossword puzzles can help you prevent Alzheimer’s.

Brain Activity

Keeping the brain active and constantly learning could be the key to warding off certain diseases and disabilities. Since birth, our brains have become accustomed to learning and using new information. But, let’s face it, as we get older, we sometimes get lazy and simply don’t feel up to learning something new. Some people may feel that they don’t have the time to sit down and study algebra or geometry, and that’s okay! However, there are some simple things that you can do to keep your brain active throughout the day when you have a little downtime - and solving a crossword puzzle could be one of them! Whether you play a crossword puzzle game during your lunch break at work on your cell phone, or spend a few hours solving crossword puzzle books in the comfort of your home, this simple and fun brain exercise is sure to keep your brain active.

Enhances Your Vocabulary

Solving crossword puzzles have been known to help enhance a person’s vocabulary. This benefit can also help a person in the early onset of Alzheimer’s, as well as those wanting to try to prevent the onset of the disease. Extending your vocabulary is not only important in your day-to-day life, but it also causes certain hormones and triggers inside your brain to rapidly fire, which helps the blood flow to the brain, as well as helps improve your memory.

Brain Cell Builder

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is believed that by playing crossword puzzles, among other types of brain exercise games, it may be possible to rebuild the brain’s cell reserves and connections, or possibly even generate new cells. This is because keeping the brain active and constantly learning is believed to help your brain produce a key protein that it needs to function properly. While more research is needed to definitively confirm this theory, it is certainly a theory that sounds promising, if not enjoyable!

Potential to Improve IQ

The Alzheimer’s Association states that they believe that people with higher education levels appear to have a higher level of a certain protein in the brain that helps fight off the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. While this does not necessarily mean that a person qualified as a genius won’t get the disease, it does suggest that by keeping the brain active throughout your lifetime, you’re ultimately helping your brain build the proteins it needs to protect itself from certain illnesses and diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. One simple way to do this is by solving crossword puzzles every day!

In addition, researchers believe that there may be evidence to support that completing crossword puzzles and other brain exercises, as well as regular daily exercise such as walking, could help improve your memory.

Overall, the general consensus is that by playing crossword puzzles every day, you are stimulating your brain in a way that can help it maintain its health over the course of your lifetime. Alzheimer’s disease is still a very unknown illness that affects millions of people every day. In fact, many issues of the brain are still quite unknown and still have many questions that researchers are seeking answers for. Many researchers have varying opinions on whether or not this simple, yet fun, brain activity can have an impact on preventing, or even delaying the often rapid decline of mental abilities typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease, such as memory loss, could have an impact either way. However, regardless of whether or not completing crossword puzzles do, in fact, prevent or delay the downward slide of this debilitating disease, the simple fact that by playing crossword puzzles is more beneficial to your well-being - by expanding your vocabulary, keeping your brain engaged and constantly learning, possibly building much needed proteins in your brain that can help it ward off illnesses, and many other benefits, this should entice you to keep playing this beloved game. After all, since our inception, our brains have been “wired” to continually learn new things and stay active. So solving crossword puzzles every day could very well be just the medicine the doctor ordered, so to speak! So we encourage you to dive into this fun brain exercise today!

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