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Wednesday, January 25, 2006
 

Mental exercise. It's not just for kids.

Research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) provides the most convincing evidence to date that complex mental activity across people's lives significantly reduces the risk of dementia. The researchers found that such activity almost halves the incidence of dementia. . .

"Until now there have been mixed messages about the role of education, occupation, IQ and mentally stimulating leisure activities, in preventing cognitive decline. Now the results are much clearer," said the lead author, Dr Michael Valenzuela, from the School of Psychiatry at UNSW. "It is a case of 'use it or lose it'. If you increase your brain reserve over your lifetime, you lessen the risk of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases."

The key conclusion is that individuals with high brain reserve have a 46 percent decreased risk of dementia, compared to those with low brain reserve. All the studies assessed agreed that mentally stimulating leisure activities, even in late life, are associated with a protective effect.

We all need stimulating environments.

posted by back40 | 1/25/2006 09:31:00 AM

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