HomeHealth TipsCrossword Puzzles Are Better Than Video Games for Helping to Improve Memory

Crossword Puzzles Are Better Than Video Games for Helping to Improve Memory

Research has shown that crossword puzzles have an advantage over video gaming for improving memory function in older individuals who have mild cognitive impairment. The study found that individuals who had mild cognitive decline and were given puzzles to do exhibited less brain shrinkage and improved daily functioning.

In a randomized, controlled study, researchers determined that individuals aged 71 on average who participated in online crossword puzzles exhibited greater cognitive improvement compared to individuals who participated in cognitive video games.

This study documented both the short and long-term benefits of online crossword puzzle training in comparison to another treatment. The results are significant considering how difficult it is to show improvement with mild cognitive impairment treatments.

Crossword puzzles are commonly used but haven’t been systematically researched in mild cognitive impairment, which is linked to high dementia risk, which includes Alzheimer’s disease.

Crossword Puzzle

To carry out their study, researchers randomly assigned 107 individuals with mild cognitive impairment to either cognitive video game training or crossword puzzle training with 12 weeks of extensive training accompanied by up to 78 weeks of booster sessions. Both treatments were provided by way of a computerized platform with compliance monitoring every week.

The most notable results of the study were:

  • Crossword puzzles were better than cognitive games on ADAS-Cog, the measure of primary cognitive outcome, at both 12 and 78-week intervals.
  • Crossword puzzles were better on FAQ, a daily functioning measure, at a 78-week interval.
    Crossword puzzles were better for individuals at a later disease phase but both types of training were just as effective at an earlier phase.
  • MRI measurements of brain shrinkage were less for individuals doing crossword puzzles at a 78-week interval.

The benefits were observed in cognition as well as in daily activities with clinically significant MRI brain shrinkage indications.

The study also illustrates the value of engagement. According to remote monitoring of computer use, individuals at a later phase of impairment could have better engaged with the more accessible crossword puzzles compared to cognitive video games.

Crossword Puzzles Are Better Than Video Games For Helping To Improve Memory

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