Since 2002, Rabbi Jonathan Z. Maltzman has led Sabbath services and engaged in congregational life at Kol Shalom, a synagogue whose name translates to “Voice of Peace.” In his leisure time, Jonathan Z. Maltzman likes to travel, read, and solve crossword puzzles.
Typically appearing in newspapers, crossword puzzles have become a staple in American culture. Since first gaining popularity in the early 1900s, these puzzles have provided hours of entertainment and challenges, and recent research has discovered their health benefits.
A study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, found that engaging in crossword puzzles can reduce beta-amyloid buildup, a toxic protein found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Because of this effect, crosswords may help delay the onset of dementia.
While crossword puzzles alone may not eliminate conditions like Alzheimer’s, the puzzles do reliably strengthen the connections between brain cells. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends crossword puzzles as a preferable activity for keeping the mind sharp and active.