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Brain Exercises Help to Preserve Memory

Posted Apr 29 2012 10:11pm
Posted on 2012-04-26 06:00:01 in Brain and Mental Performance | Lifestyle |
Brain Exercises Help to Preserve Memory

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) completed a study suggesting a cause and effect relationship: namely, that being mentally active leads to better cognitive health in old age.  Robert S. Wilson and colleagues studied the mental activities of 1,076 men and women, average age 80 years, who were free of dementia. Participants underwent yearly memory exams for about five years. They reported how often they read the newspaper, wrote letters, visited a library and played board games such as chess or checkers. The results showed that people's participation in mentally stimulating activities and their mental functioning declined at similar rates over the years. The researchers also found that they could predict participants' level of cognitive functioning by looking at their level of mental activity the year before but that level of cognitive functioning did not predict later mental activity.  The study authors conclude that: “The results suggest that more frequent mental stimulation in old age leads to better cognitive functioning.”

Robert S. Wilson, Eisuke Segawa, Patricia A. Boyle, David A. Bennett.  “Influence of late-life cognitive activity on cognitive health.” Neurology, April 10, 2012 78:1123-1129.

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257. Brain Boosting Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet features cereals, fruits, legumes and whole grains, fish and olive oil. Researchers from the University of Miami (Florida, USA) reported that consumption of a Mediterranean Diet associates with protection against damage to small blood vessels in the brain. The team studied 1,000 men and women, average age 72 years, enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study. For all the subjects, the researchers conducted MRI imaging scans of the brain, and collected data on dietary behavior via a standardized questionnaire that was subsequently interpreted to establish a Mediterranean Diet score. For each one-point increase in the Mediterranean Diet...
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