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Solve puzzles to boost brain power

Cracking sudoku and crosswords puzzles can sharpen your concentration and keep your mind young.

health and fitness Updated: Jun 16, 2007 15:42 IST

Solving crosswords and similar puzzles could boost brain power and improve one's concentration, suggests a new study.

It could also help those who have increased risks of developing memory disorders later in life, says Jennifer Mozolic who was in the research and studied studied 23 people aged 65-75.

The preliminary findings of the study found that eight (weekly one-hour) attention-training sessions improved the ability of people to block out distractions and concentrate, reported health portal Health Central.

The sessions involved either a structured one-on-one mental workout or a group brain exercise programme.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to analyse the blood flow and activity in the participants' brains while they completed assigned tasks.

According to Mozolic, the study is ongoing and will eventually include a total of 66 participants.

"Behavioural and imaging data support our hypothesis that attention training can reduce multi-sensory integration.

"This suggests that attention training is a potential way to improve sensory processing by reducing older adults' susceptibility to distracting stimuli," Mozolic said.

Crossword puzzles, sudoku and similar highly focused task could help us keep our minds young, the study suggests.