How reading The Times can help keep dementia at bay

To be fair the article in The Times (included below for those that don’t have access) it does say a daily newspaper i.e. it is not The Times per se, but the fact the The Times is a paper ….. still with me?

I suppose (although I am no expert) a good book, or magazine would be as beneficial but The Times is allowed to publish at article with some self promotion I guess.

The point, and again am no expert, is that it seems to be sensible and logical to treat the brain as you would a muscle: feed it well, exercise it, keep it strong, and just as you decrease the probability of damaging the muscle, similarly with the brain.

In our family we currently have a case of vascular dementia and early stage cognitive degeneration, and have found in both cases that a combination of the medication, establish routines, and stimulating the mind have had noticeable benefits.

Is one reason we have established the Care@Home initiative.

Original Article: Greg Hurst, Social Affairs Editor 1st April 2020

Reading The Times is one way to help ward off dementia, according to a study. Researchers found that mentally stimulating activities can significantly lower the risk of developing the condition.

People who read a daily newspaper, pursue a hobby and engage in cultural activities had a 26 per cent lower likelihood of dementia than those who did not.

Once other factors associated with a lower risk of developing dementia were taken into account, such as wealth, being married or in a relationship, not smoking and being in good physical health, the risk dropped to 40 per cent.

A study concluded that intellectually focused leisure activities and light physical exercise helped to build up a cognitive reserve that can mitigate the symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders.

People who had a professional career or a mentally challenging job had higher levels of cognitive reserve as did those educated to degree level.

The study, by behavioural scientists at University College London, monitored data from 12,280 adults aged 50 and older over 15 years. The results were published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Participants were grouped according to leisure interests, based on questions about whether and how often they took part in 16 different activities, and also by occupation and education.

The authors said it was the first study to look at the overall effect of cognitive reserve at staving off dementia and the factors that contribute to it in a large representative sample of the English population. All participants were free of dementia at the start but over the time studied 602 developed the condition.

The senior author, Dorina Cadar, senior research fellow at UCL’s department of behavioural science, said: “In times of confinement like now you still can do things to [stimulate] your brain. The more you are engaged and mentally stimulated and also socially connected . . . it is protective so it is just not one single benefit but the multifactoral aspect of having rich leisure activities.”