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.”

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3 thoughts on “Keeping the Old Brain Sharp

  1. If you’re still trying to beat Alzheimer’s disease and is always frequently getting a daily dose of Sudoku (because it’s your favorite) then you may be interested in Custom Sudoku Board Set (700 Original Large Print Sudoku Puzzles). I recently engineered them from my laptop and self published it via http://www.iUniverse.com.

  2. Hi just a little note to your Dementia notice. For one it really doesn’t matter what you do with your brain because if you have the gene for it, it will happen. Yes, lots of memory practicing, puzzles, etc., can give you a little longer to hold off this terrible disease. I know Teachers, Physical Therapists, and one special doctor that are now in the process of dementia. I too am working as you in training my mind to remember, learn new things, people, songs, stories; which I read almost daily. Watch all of the history channels, yet I read only factual information. So far no one in the history of my family had either Altz. or Dementia. But from what I have encountered in my lifetime of 74 years, it doesn’t matter what you read, study, travel, if you have the Gene, again I repeat, you may or will get it. Hopefully, science will prevail, not in my time but hopefully yours, for a gene/cell replacement/removal for this disease. At this time I have started on the dictionary, learning what the word means, where it comes from, and how to use it in at least 5 different ways. Take care and keep up the work. Thks for your family story. R.f. Murchison

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