THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Socializing, taking classes and exercising may boost the brain’s cognitive reserve to avoid future memory and thinking problems, new research shows. suggesting.
Cognitive reserve refers to the brain’s ability to withstand the effects of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and not show signs of decline.
What is the best way to increase cognitive reserve?
Pamela Almeida Meza, a PhD student at University College London and author of the study, said: ‘Don’t stop being curious, learn something new, find a new hobby. “Prioritize staying active and connected, exercising, going for daily walks, staying in touch with family and visiting friends.”
In this study, researchers looked at the genetic and lifestyle factors of 1,184 people born in Britain in 1946. People took cognitive tests when he was 8 and she was 69.
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All study participants received a cognitive reserve score that combined education level at age 26, participation in substantial leisure activities at age 43, and work until age 53. Reading ability at age 53 years was tested as an additional measure of overall lifelong learning.
The maximum total score for cognitive tests people took at age 69 was 100, and the mean score for this group was 92.
Studies have shown that people with higher cognitive performance in childhood, higher cognitive reserve scores, and higher reading skills performed better on cognitive tests at age 69.
Also, those with higher education had better lives than those without formal education.
Those who engaged in six or more leisure activities, including adult education classes, clubs, volunteer work, social activities, and gardening, scored higher than those who engaged in four or fewer leisure activities.
Additionally, participants in professional or intermediate-level jobs scored higher on cognitive tests than participants in lower-skilled jobs at age 29.
Previous research has shown that people with low cognitive test scores as children are more likely to experience a sharp decline in cognitive function as they age, but that may not be the case after all. .
“This finding suggests that a mentally, socially and physically active lifestyle in middle age can offset the negative contribution of early childhood low cognition to cognitive status in later life.” Almeida Meza said.
The APOE4 gene, which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, was associated with lower scores on cognitive tests at age 69, whereas participants with high or low childhood cognitive scores were similar with age, regardless of APOE4 status. showed the mental decline rate of
This study appears in the August 3 issue of neurology.
Lei Yu, associate professor at the Rush Alzheimer’s Center in Chicago, said the findings show that genes are not destined for risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“Cognitive abilities in old age are not entirely determined by what we inherit from our parents,” said Yu, who reviewed the new research.
“Elderly people actively engaged in cognitive activities [e.g., reading, or playing checkers, cards, puzzles or board games]social [e.g., spending time with family members or friends, going to church, volunteering or participating in group activities] and physical activity [e.g., regular exercise] Even if you have a brain disease such as Alzheimer’s disease, you are more likely to maintain your cognition in old age.
Michal Schnaider Beeri is Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York City. She co-authored an editorial that accompanied the study.
“Research results support the relevance of lifelong investment in building cognitive reserve to maintain healthy cognition later in life,” she said.
“From a public health and social perspective, investing in higher education, expanding opportunities for leisure activities, and actively providing individuals in less skilled occupations with cognitively challenging activities have broad long-term implications. There is a possibility that there is a profit.
And she said it’s never too late to start boosting your cognitive reserve.
“Young brains learn faster and more effectively, but older brains learn even more [much] Older brains have plasticity and the ability to learn,” said Schnaider Beeri.
She recommended getting out of your comfort zone and learning a new language or skill, or a new instrument.
“Nourishing the brain with intellectual commitment and effort should be viewed as a lifelong process for sustaining healthy brain aging,” Schneider-Behry said.
The Alzheimer’s Association has even more tips on how to stop Alzheimer’s disease.
Source: Pamela Almeida-Meza, PhD Student, University College London, Lei Yu, PhD, Associate Professor, Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Chicago. Michal Schnaider Beeri, PhD, Professor, Psychiatry, Mount His Sinai, Icahn School of Medicine, New York City, neurologyAugust 3, 2022