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6 Ways (+ 2 Puzzles) to Boost Your Brain, Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer's

Mental Health
Author name: Lee Health

Brain games graphic

Summer’s here. For millions of Americans, that means pursuing family pleasures ranging from travel vacations to beach trips to backyard barbeques. But for the more than six million Americans age 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), June also marks Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

The observance, recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute on Aging, and other organizations, honors those affected by the disease.

Now, we could give you a laundry list of facts and figures about Alzheimer’s. That’s all well and good—and necessary—to get a big picture understanding of this neurodegenerative disease. (Okay, we’ll toss out one alarming statistic: By 2050, the number of Americans living with AD is expected to more than double to 12.7 million.)

Currently, there’s no cure for AD (some treatments may change disease progression, and drug and non-drug options may help treat symptoms, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.)

But for right now, we’re about taking fun-filled and brain-stimulating action to highlight our remarkable brains, and how we can keep them healthy as we age.

We’re talking about doing puzzles!

Research shows that crossword puzzles, word search puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and other brain twisters stimulates our brains, supports the growth of new nerve cells, and strengthens existing brain cell connections. Constructing a jigsaw puzzle, for example, can improve your attention to detail and short-term memory, among many other benefits.

A Lee Health board-certified neurologist offers five other tips for improving your cognitive health as you age with a brain-healthy lifestyle.

So, let’s get to it. Try these two puzzles on for size, below, reprinted courtesy of Dana Foundation.

Want to see the answers, find lots more puzzles, and print out the two below as well as more? Click here to dowload the full puzzle package from the Dana Foundation.

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Word Jumble Graphic