Sudoku, Crosswords Could Make Your Brain Years Younger

Mornings spent figuring out Sudoku or finessing a crossword could spell better health for aging brains, researchers say.

In a study of over 19,000 British adults aged 50 and over who were tracked for 25 years, the habit of doing word or number puzzles seemed to help keep minds nimble over time.

“We’ve found that the more regularly people engage with puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku, the sharper their performance is across a range of tasks assessing memory, attention and reasoning,” said research leader Dr. Anne Corbett, of the University of Exeter Medical School.

Full story at US News

Too Much TV Might Dull the Aging Brain

The old saying, “TV rots your brain,” could have some validity for folks as they age.

In a new study, middle-aged people who watched television for more than 3.5 hours a day experienced a decline in their ability to remember words and language over the next six years, British researchers found.

What’s worse, it appears that the more TV you watch, the more your verbal memory will deteriorate, researchers said.

“Overall, our results suggests that adults over the age of 50 should try and ensure television viewing is balanced with other contrasting activities,” said lead researcher Daisy Fancourt. She’s a senior research fellow at University College London.

Full story at US News

Analysis of African plant reveals possible treatment for aging brain

For hundreds of years, healers in São Tomé e Príncipe — an island off the western coast of Africa — have prescribed cata-manginga leaves and bark to their patients. These pickings from the Voacanga africanatree are said to decrease inflammation and ease the symptoms of mental disorders.

Now, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered that the power of the plant isn’t just folklore: a compound isolated from Voacanga africanaprotects cells from altered molecular pathways linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and the neurodegeneration that often follows a stroke.

“What this provides us with is a source of potential new drug targets,” says senior author Pamela Maher, a senior staff scientist in Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory. The results were published this week in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

Full story of African plant treatment for aging brain at Science Daily