MENTAL STIMULATION AND BEING BILINGUAL COULD STAVE OFF DEMENTIA: TWO NEW STUDIES

Feb 01, 2017

By Jane Brown

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There’s more evidence that mental stimulation thwarts dementia.

Prior research has suggested that mental stimulation blunts the effects of the disease, but few studies followed patients through time.

Now, in a new study, researchers looked at a group of approximately two-thousand adults over the age of 70 over four years, evaluating them for signs of mild cognitive impairment.

They found that activities such as computer game use, crafts and social interaction significantly reduced the risks of mild cognitive impairment.

While more evidence is needed to solidify this link, the findings provide additional support to the idea that mind activity may help stave off dementia.

You can read about the research in JAMA Neurology.

In related news, being bilingual may help combat the memory loss that comes with Alzheimer’s Disease.

The disease leads to the slow deterioration of memory and other important cognitive functions over time, but an understanding of the cause and a cure have been elusive.

But new research out of Italy suggests that people with Alzheimer’s who speak more than one language continue to have more brain activity.

These findings suggests that being bilingual induces certain changes in the brain that help compensate for the loss of function caused of Alzheimer’s.

You can read about the research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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