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According to a new AARP survey, many adults believe mind challenging puzzles and games are most important for brain health.

According to a new AARP survey, many adults believe mind challenging puzzles and games are most important for brain health.

While many adults know the importance of brain health, few are taking the steps to maintain or improve it. AARP's new survey on brain health found that of the 98 percent of respondents who said maintaining brain health was important, only half of them are actually engaging in activities to do so.

AARP, which surveyed more than 1,500 adults over age 40 to gather this new data, showed that nearly 75 percent of respondents are concerned about declining brain health, and about one-third of them have noticed a decline in their memory in the past five years. This figure rises to 45 percent for participants over the age of 65.

Of those surveyed who say they are trying to be active in maintaining brain health, 54 percent said that mind challenging games and puzzles were the most important activity to improve brain health, while 56 percent said eating a healthy diet and exercising were better for promoting brain health.

"With so much conflicting information coming out of the news about what's good for your brain, having trusted experts cut through the clutter to help us understand what we know and what we don't know about brain health can help people make good choices," said Sarah Lenz Lock of AARP.

AARP mentioned a recent Institute of Medicine report that found regular exercise and stress reduction can improve cognitive function in aging adults. To provide more evidence-based information such as this to help promote brain health in old age, AARP's new Global Council on Brain Health has teamed up with Age UK to assemble a group of scientists, doctors, scholars and policy experts that will compose white papers, scientific reviews and research.

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