Daily crossword or sudoku could be key to battling dementia

Simple activities like solving puzzles, gardening, making snacks and singing can halt progression of dementia, a new study has revealed.

Dementia is an umbrella term that explains a serious deterioration in mental functions such as memory, language, orientation and judgment. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause.

According to the study, patients who regularly boosted their mind and memory skills were able to perform routine, everyday tasks twice as effectively than when they had been on medication.

This is the latest research to confirm the benefits of keeping the brain active to help reduce the risk of developing age-related diseases.

Results from researchers in Germany showed that people doing a crossword four days a week had a much lower risk of dementia than those who did one puzzle a week.

The study took into consideration 98 people with dementia living in five nursing homes in Bavaria.

Progression of their symptoms slowed after they were enrolled on a 12-month programme of behavioural and mental exercises.

“This small study supports the view that with the right support people can live well with dementia throughout the condition,” the Daily Express quoted Dr Anne Corbett, research manager at the Alzheimer’s Society as saying.

“Evidence shows that good care involves activities people with dementia find interesting and enjoyable, and interaction with others,” Corbett added.

The study has been published in the journal BMC Medicine.

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