Can puzzles and games improve cognitive abilities in aging brains? On a more positive note, a 2022 study by Columbia University and Duke University compared two groups of people with mild cognitive decline—one tested with web-based crossword puzzles and the other with cognitive video games. The TakeawayThe jury may still be out on how effective games and puzzles are at keeping the aging brain healthy. SOURCES:The Topeka Capital-Journal: Mind tricks: Do puzzles, brain games really keep older minds sharp? National Institute on Aging: Video games show potential in improving key aspects of memory in older adultsColumbia University Department of Psychiatry: Crossword Puzzles Beat Computer Video Games in Slowing Memory LossThe Washington Post: Can a daily crossword puzzle slow cognitive decline?