New research conducted at the University of Sydney indicates that an active cognitive lifestyle protects against Alzheimer’s disease. The study showed that an active cognitive lifestyle in men was associated with a reduction in cerebrovascular disease, more specifically the brain’s microscopic blood vessels. An active cognitive lifestyle in women was associated with greater brain weight. In both males and females, an active cognitive lifestyle was associated with greater neuronal density and cortical thickness in the frontal lobe. At Groves Assisted Living we are not surprised by the results uncovered by the Brain and Mind Research Institute, at the University of Sydney.
The impressive study followed around 13,000 elderly individuals since 1991. Thus far, 329 brains have been donated for analysis. The brains were assessed based on the individuals dementia status (yes or no), and cognitive lifestyle score CLS (low, middle, high). The brains with a higher CLS scores produced a lower frequency of brains reaching dementia status, and the lower CLS scores produced a higher frequency.
“These findings suggest that increased engagement in stimulating activities are part of a lifestyle that is, overall, more healthy,” said Dr. John Crystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.
An antithetical theory holds that reduced cognitive stress leads to a “brain reserve.” Basically some scientist and medical professionals believe that taking it easy on your brain may pay off later in life. But the recent findings suggest the opposite. The more healthy stress you place on your brain—i.e. puzzles, reading, studying, learning, reflecting, intellectual demanding work, chess, and ect¬—the better your chances are of evading Alzheimer’s disease.
That is why at Groves Assisted Living we put aside time for mental exercise and physical exercise. Sometimes, regular engagement of the mental faculties is the best defense and remedy for symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Actually it is.