I am a sudoku addict and have been for three or four years because I find that it stimulates my thought processes. According to Ronald Kotulak, a Pulitzer prize-winning author, mental training in old age can boost intellectual power, and help maintain mental functions like problem solving, and also reverse memory decline. He reckons that even if they haven't received the benefits of good early education and experience, older adults can still do much to keep their brains in shape. That's my experience too. My powers of recall had faded significantly but recently there has been some improvement. [Ronald Kotulak. "Inside the Brain: Revolutionary Discoveries of How the Mind Works" (Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1997)].
Kotulak quoted Albert, "Is mental exercise important for the brain? People used to ask me that years ago, and I would say we don't have enough data one way or another. I don't say that anymore. I tell them that's what the data look like: Use it or lose it.
But I think that this is related to the addiction we Besslerfiles get when we think we have 'discovered' the secret. It does not matter that in due course we find we were mistaken; the 'jolt' has already been received and we seek another one and that is why we continue to research this 'science'. It's the same mechanism that causes people to become drug addicts, but in our case it may turn out to be a beneficial addiction.