Past Articles

Mentally Active People Experience Less Memory Loss

Use it or lose it? After tracking the mental activity of over 1600 older adults, new research indicates that people in the habit of reading, writing and processing new information retain more of their thinking skills and memory as they age. Beginning in 1997, the study of older adults asked participants how often they went to the library, wrote letters and sought out information. Each participant was also given an annual thinking and memory test. People in their 80ís who were mentally active throughout their lives generally scored better on the memory tests. The study rated cognitive activity on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the least frequent. Participants scored an average of 3.2 for late-life cognitive activity and a 3.1 for early-life activity. Compared to people with average late-life cognitive activity, the thinking and memory skills of those individuals with infrequent activity declined 48 percent faster than the average. The decline was 32 percent slower among those who were the most cognitively active. While shying away from concluding that being mentally active wards off cognitive decline, the study advised that maintaining a mentally active lifestyle is good for cognitive health in old age.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: 
Neurology, online July 3, 2013.