Stay sharp in your 70’s and later by socializing and engaging in mind-stimulating activities. The Boston Globe recently published an article discussing the benefits of an active mind for elders.
Games, crafts, other activities may safeguard aging brain
Even in your 70s and beyond, simple activities including Web-surfing, playing bridge, and socializing can stave off mental decline, new research says.
Benefits were greatest in computer users and in those without a gene variation linked with Alzheimer’s disease. But even among seniors with that trait, mental decline that sometimes precedes dementia was less common among those who engaged in mind-stimulating activities.
The results don’t apply to costly, computer-based games that purport to keep the brain sharp — those were not studied. The benefits were found from activities that many seniors have access to.
‘‘They don’t have to spend their life savings’’ on fancy gadgets, said Dr. Yonas Geda, the study’s senior author and a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic’s campus in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The study was published Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology. The researchers noted that the statistical link they found with reduced risk does not prove the activities were responsible.
Still, said Heather Snyder of the Alzheimer’s Association, the results support the idea that ‘‘being engaged mentally is good for brain health.’’
The study looked at five types of activities that are thought to help keep the mind sharp: computer use; making crafts; playing games including chess or bridge; going to movies or other types of socializing; and reading books. [Read entire article]