16:25 04 July 2013
A recent study published in Neurology suggests that dementia can be avoided or at least can be slowed down by simply keeping the brain busy.
The study which involved 294 people over the age of 55 were given tests to measure their memory and thinking every year for about six years until they passed away.
The respondents were given questionnaires where they have to indicate activities that are linked to mental stimulation during childhood, adolescence, middle age, and in later life.
The study revealed that respondents who frequently stimulate their minds by reading books or by writing letters had a rate of cognitive decline estimated at 15per cent slower than those who did not.
Commenting on the study, Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer's
Research UK, said: "By examining donated brain tissue, this study has shed more light on this complex question, and the results lend weight to the theory that mental activity may provide a level of 'cognitive reserve', helping the brain resist some of the damage from diseases such as Alzheimer's.”
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