A recent study commissioned by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the National Institute of Health, revealed that a mentally active lifestyle mitigates the harmful effects that brain damage has on learning and memory associated with Multi Sclerosis MS. The study showed that learning and memory ability remained decent for those participants with active mental lifestyles, despite the brain damage that results from MS.
The study involved 44 people around the age of 45, who have suffered from MS for an average of 11 years. The study measured learning and recall by testing word knowledge. Essentially, the MS patients were given a watered down vocabulary test. The participants were given fifteen minutes to learn a list of ten words, and then were quizzed about how many they could recall after thirty minutes.
Participants with a mentally active lifestyle, scored higher on the learning and memory test even if they suffered a greater degree of brain damage. The participants with a mentally active lifestyle were able to recall 9.6 words on average, whereas the participants with a sedentary mental lifestyle were only able to recall 8.0 words.
“These findings suggest that enriching activities may build a person’s ‘cognitive reserve,’ which can be thought to be a buffer against disease-related memory impairment. Differences in cognitive reserve among persons with MS may explain why some persons suffer memory problems early in the disease, while others do not develop memory problems until much later, if at all” said Sumowski, Author and Lead Researcher of the study.
At Groves Assisted Living we understand that the mental decline of your loved one can be a daunting experience. But we have seen a significant degree of success with patients who are willing to stay engaged, and exercise their mind regularly.Leave a reply →