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"Reading can help save your memory: It slows decline in brain power say scientists"


Reading can help save your memory: It slows decline in brain power say scientists. Reading at any time of life could help preserve your memory into old age, researchers claim. They found activities which promote mental stimulation such as reading books and doing crosswords at any age could be linked to a slower rate of decline in brain power.
It is the latest evidence that people who exercise their grey cells are protected against mental decline. Dr Robert Wilson said: ‘Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as
these across a person’s lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age.’

The study involved 294 people over the age of 55 who were given cognitive tests every six years until their deaths at an average age of 89.

They also answered a questionnaire about whether they read books, wrote or participated in other activities linked to memory stimulation during childhood, adolescence, middle age and at their current age.

Exercising the mind: Other activities which promote mental stimulation, such as crossword puzzles, also help slow the decline of brain power
 

After they died, their brains were examined for evidence of physical signs of dementia, such as lesions.
 

The study found people who did mentally stimulating activities both early and late in life had a slower rate of decline in memory compared to those who did not do any such activities across their lifetime.
 

The study found that even adjusting for factors such as dementia, those who had a record of participating in such activities had a rate of cognitive decline estimated at 15 per cent slower than those who did not.
 

Dr Wilson, from Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago, said: ‘Based on this, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves and our parents or grandparents.’
The study found the rate of decline was reduced by 32 per cent in people with frequent mental activity in later life, compared to people with average mental activity. The rate of decline of those with infrequent activity was 48 per cent faster than those with average activity, says a report in the medical journal Neurology.
 

Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‘There is increasing evidence suggesting that mental activity may help protect against cognitive decline, but the underlying reasons for this remain unclear.

‘By examining donated brain tissue this study has shed more light on this complex question, and the results lend weight to the theory that mental activity may provide a level of ‘‘cognitive reserve’’, helping the brain resist some of the damage from diseases such as Alzheimer’s.’
Dr James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘This study finds that demanding mental activity can help protect your memory later in life, but it’s important to note this isn’t the same as protecting against dementia. More research is needed.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2355212/Reading-help-save-memory-It-slows-decline-brain-power-say-scientists.html#ixzz2YBr28oMn


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