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NEW YORK: Engaging in mentally stimulating activities like reading newspapers or playing chess could protect the elderly from developing Alzheimer’s disease, says a new study.
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. Patients may have trouble remembering things that occurred recently or names of people. Symptoms generally get worse overtime, with the person not being able to recognise even family members or have trouble speaking, reading or writing.
Researchers at the American Academy of Neurology looked at five years of tests on over 700 volunteers in Chicago, with an average age of 80.
Of the group, 90 developed Alzheimer’s disease and scientists noted that in old age, a cognitively active person was 2.6 times less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, reported science portal News Medical.
Activities during old age such as visiting a library or attending a play was associated with reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment, a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia, and less rapid decline in cognitive function, said the study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the academy.
Earlier studies have suggested that keeping socially engaged and eating a Mediterranean diet may also help prevent the disorder.
Robert S Wilson from the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center says the study highlights the urgent need for strategies to prevent the disease or delay its onset.
Source:The Times Of India