Don’t pin your hopes on games
You’ve probably heard that doing crossword puzzles can help stave off dementia, but does the research back this up?
There’s some evidence that puzzles, computer use, arts and crafts, music, and continuing education may help protect against Alzheimer’s. Deeper social connections may also lower your risk of cognitive decline.
But this evidence is not as strong as the case for eating well and exercising, losing weight, treating your high blood pressure, and lowering your cholesterol.
As to whether mental games can help prevent further forgetfulness if your memory is slipping, Isaacson says: “A memory problem usually correlates with a metabolism problem. So I’ll look at their body composition and nine times out of 10, they’re going to have elevated amounts of body fat. Usually the bigger the belly, the smaller the memory center in the brain.”