From Pacific Standard:
A Lifetime of Intellectual Stimulation Staves Off Dementia
Turning to brainy pursuits in later years also helps delay the onset of the dreaded condition, according to a new study.
As we age, “Am I losing my mind?” gradually morphs from a poignant Steven Sondheim lyric into a genuine fear. For most of us, avoiding cognitive impairment—or at least holding it off as long as possible—eventually becomes a high-priority concern.
So what can we do to keep sharp as we grow older? A just-released study from the Mayo Clinic finds the best medicine is living a life of the mind.
If, for whatever reason, that hasn’t been true for you (or an aging loved one), don’t despair: Turning to more cerebral leisure pursuits late in life can also help in a big way. But a good education and an intellectually demanding career seem to provide uniquely powerful protection.
“Lifetime intellectual enrichment might delay the onset of cognitive impairment and be used as a successful preventative intervention to reduce the impending dementia epidemic,” writes a research team led by Mayo Clinic radiologist Prashanthi Vemuri. Its study is published in the journal JAMA Neurology...MUCH MORE