Keeping the Old Brain Sharp

Some of the Puzzle Books I'm Taking On

Some of the Puzzle Books I'm Taking On

There was a recent article in the Guardian, The Lifestyle to Beat Alzheimer’s, about what one can do to keep dementia at bay.  The headliner was about coffee (this New York Times article has more details about that).  Coffee drinkers, it noted, “will be clinking mugs in a toast to new research suggesting that just two strong cups of the black stuff a day can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.”  I’ll make sure to keep sipping the dark roast.

The article mentioned several other things that research suggests can keep one’s brain sharp enough to avoid slipping into forgetfulness.  To summarize:

  • Drink two strong cups of coffee (the regular stuff, not decaf) per day
  • Eat blueberries, kale and broccoli (and other vegetables)
  • Don’t smoke (duh)
  • Drink one or two alcoholic drinks per day
  • Stay in shape
  • Speak more than one language
  • Stay married (no divorce allowed as that can increase risk of getting dementia)
  • Do crossword, sudoku and other puzzles

Other than speaking multiple languages, I’m doing pretty well on this list.  I am working on the puzzle thing especially right now.  I’ve got multiple books of them going at once, in fact.  I have been tackling crossword puzzles, sudoku, kenken and new to me, kakuro.

My parents gave me five new books of puzzles for Father’s Day.  My mother sees dementia every day, since she works in an elderly care facility.  I guess she wants to keep me sharp for longer than other people.  I’m good with that.  My parents really do love me.  Puzzles: the gift that keeps giving, even when you become an old codger.

I am afraid I could use some help with staving off dementia.  Already, I forget crap all the time.  If taking the time to do some puzzles will help, I’ll do it.  It may get in the way of other things but that is the way of it.  “Sorry, honey, can’t paint the house right now; I’ve got to prevent Alzheimer’s right now.”