Activities to prevent memory loss
Picking up a paintbrush, deck of cards, computer or even dinner with friends can help prevent memory loss.
Researchers found that engaging in mentally stimulating activities, even later in life, may protect against new-onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and lower the risk of memory loss among those with a genetic predisposition. Their findings were published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
Researchers observed participants who engaged in computer use, craft activities, social activities and playing games at least once a week were 20 to 30 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment during the four-year study than those who did not. Benefits were also seen among APOE ε4 carriers who engaged in these activities. Reading books was the only studied activity to not have a statistically significant decrease.
“Our study could not disentangle why some mentally stimulating activities (eg, computer use) had a larger effect size on the decreased risk of incident MCI than other activities (eg, reading books),” the authors write. “However, we speculate that a particular mental activity (eg, computer use) may require specific technical and manual skills and that these could be the factors that might be associated with a decreased risk of cognitive decline.”
Computer use did not include computer-based games for brain health.
Researchers followed a sample of more than 1,900 participants age 70 and older identified as cognitively normal at baseline. Participants completed questionnaires about engaging in mentally stimulating activities and were evaluated at 15-month intervals. They were recruited from the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging and resided in Olmstead County, Minnesota.
Nicole was Senior Editor at I Advance Senior Care and Long Term Living Magazine 2015-2017. She has a Journalism degree from Kent State University and is finalizing a master’s degree in Information Architecture and Management. She has extensive studies in the digital user experience and in branding online media. She has worked as an editor and writer for various B2B publications, including Business Finance.
Topics: Activities , Alzheimer's/Dementia