How cognitive activation in old age reduces the risk of dementia

In a new study, researchers combine cognitive activation using brain games with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. The results suggest that participating in activities such as reading, writing and playing games may make the brain more resilient to the condition. The study authors claim that older adults who engage in such activities, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia It can be delayed up to 5 years.

How does cognitive activation affect brain function?

Scientists have already found links between higher cognitive activity and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. How strong this association is and its causes are still not clear. The new study suggests that a cognitively active lifestyle can stave off the neurological symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related diseases for several years. This can drastically reduce the amount of time people spend in a state of cognitive disability. The researchers looked for cognitive stimulation for everyday activities such as reading newspapers or books and visiting the library. It was cognitive activation in old age that proved to be the most protective. None of the participants had dementia at the start of the study. The team also collected information about socialization and participation in social activities, including visiting friends or relatives. At the end of the study, 457 of the 2,000 participants had developed Alzheimer’s disease. However, they tended to be older when they started school and had slightly fewer years of education.

Group of old people playing cards

The researchers conducted further analysis and found that educational level, gender, cognitive activity in early life, genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease, social activity, and loneliness had little or no effect on disease incidence. This suggests that brain function in old age is the most important factor in disease progression. Thus, stimulated cognitive activities led to changes in the structure and function of the brain, which in turn led to an increase in cognitive reserve. Repetitive participation in these activities can improve certain nervous systems. Therefore, relatively more damage will be required before these systems can stop working properly. Looking at the results, the authors came this study It is concluded that a cognitively active lifestyle in old age can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 5 years. The main goal is the ability to prevent dementia through health care of brain function. These findings could enable new therapeutic approaches.

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