Brain teasers may protect you against mild cognitive impairment
People who engaged in computer use, craft activities, social activities and playing games had a decreased risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, finds a new study.Updated: Feb 04, 2017 07:36 IST
Keeping your brain busy and sharp with a steady flow of activities is likely you help you fight against mild brain disabilities.
Rochester-based Mayo Clinic researchers have found that engaging in mentally stimulating activities, even late in life, may protect against new-onset mild cognitive impairment, which is the intermediate stage between normal cognitive ageing and dementia.
The study, published in the January 30 edition of JAMA Neurology, found that cognitively normal people (70 or older) who engaged in computer use, craft activities, social activities and playing games had a decreased risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.
Researchers followed 1,929 cognitively normal participants of the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Ageing in Olmsted County, Minnesota, for an average duration of four years.
After adjusting for sex, age and educational level, researchers discovered that the risk of new-onset mild cognitive impairment decreased by 30% with computer use, 28% with craft activities, 23% with social activities, and 22% with playing games.
Yonas Geda, MD, psychiatrist and behavioural neurologist at Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus, said, “Our team found that persons who performed these activities at least one to two times per week had less cognitive decline than those who engaged in the same activities only two to three times per month or less”.
The benefits of being cognitively engaged even were seen among apolipoprotein E (APOE) e4 carriers. APOE e4 is a genetic risk factor for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s dementia. However, for APOE e4 carriers, only computer use and social activities were associated with a decreased risk of mild cognitive impairment.
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First Published: Jan 31, 2017 12:11 IST