Source: American Academy of Neurology
Date: June 28, 2007
Science Daily — How often old people read a newspaper, play chess, or engage in other mentally stimulating activities is related to risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.
For the study, more than 700 people in Chicago, IL, with an average age of 80 underwent yearly cognitive testing for up to five years. Participants were part of the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal study of more than 1,200 older people. Of the participants, 90 developed Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers also performed a brain autopsy on the 102 participants who died.
The study found a cognitively active person in old age was 2.6 times less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than a cognitively inactive person in old age. This association remained after controlling for past cognitive activity, lifetime socioeconomic status, and current social and physical activity.
Researchers say the findings may be used to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
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