For years scientists have indicated that mental stimulation brought about by working crossword puzzles and other word games helps prevent or postpone symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, a progressive brain disorder that results in a significant decline in brain function. Named for Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist that first described the disease in 1906, Alzheimer’s Disease greatly reduces memory and mental function and destroys the sufferer’s sense of self while placing an extraordinary strain on friends and family members that witness the patient’s suffering. According to CBS News, a report from the Centers for Disease Control ranks Alzheimer’s Disease as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. 
Research has shown that solving puzzles, reading, and writing on a regular basis greatly reduces the chances that a person will develop Alzheimer’s Disease. In the January 23, 2012 online issue of Archives of Neurology, researchers published the results of a study showing that individuals who regularly exercised their brains through mental-stimulating activities such as solving puzzles were significantly less likely to develop the disease.
Among the news sources that reported the findings, CBS News stated that the older participants in the study “with the most puzzles and books under their belt had brains comparable to those of the healthy controls who were fifty years younger.”  Older individuals who began solving puzzles in their later years did not reap the same rewards. Research showed that the younger an individual is when they take up increased cognitive activities, the more beneficial the results are in the long-term. The findings suggest that lifetime habits of mental stimulation are most important.
MSNBC, when reporting on the same study stated that not only doing puzzles, but reading books is beneficial to help prevent Alzheimer’s by reducing the accumulation of beta-amyloid, the harmful protein of Alzheimer’s Disease. MSNBC also made the point that the effects are realized if the activities are life-long habits and engaged in on a regular basis prior to symptoms materializing.  The MSNBC article reported that the study showed the accumulation of amyloid can also be induced through genetic and age factors. 
Regardless of your age now, increased cognitive activities cannot hurt. Find your favorite kind of puzzle and enjoy the pastime. Kentucky Crosswords offers hundreds of free puzzles to play online and print, from our Easy Crosswords, a favorite among our visitors, to Word Search Puzzles on a variety of themes, to number and letter Sudoku, to Logic Puzzles. We hope you are comfortable with browsing our site and should you encounter problems or have questions along the way, feel free to e-mail Visitor Information and we will be glad to assist you if at all possible.