By On July 8th, 2013

Mental Exercise May Protect You From Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's DiagramWe have all heard the old phrase “use it or lose it.” It turns out, that is especially true with our brains. If we don’t exercise our brains like we exercise our bodies, they become weak and susceptible to conditions they may have otherwise been able to stave off – diseases like Alzheimer’s.

It has been well-documented that many people with brains showing signs of Alzheimer’s who didn’t show any clinical symptoms what so ever during life. Researchers have long wondered what could cause these people who, for all intents and purposes had Alzheimer’s, could show the typical signs of neurodegeneration. In fact, Forbes points out that a third of patients with the plaques and tangles that clog the lines of communication in the brain typical of Alzheimer’s show no symptoms during their life.

Researchers have pondered every option, from conditions that protect the brain from Alzheimer’s substances with protective ingredients, and even the possibility that their minds are just wired differently. As CBN.com reported, a new study published in Neurology suggests it could be a simple matter of how much you actually use your brain.

Yes, how much you read, write, solve problems, and your general level of cognitive activity throughout life, not just adulthood, is a huge predictor of one’s risk of dementia.

The study asked 294 people over 55 how often they engaged in mental activities over the course of their lives, as well as testing their cognitive function throughout the average six years of follow up meetings, and neurological tests. After all subjects had deceased, the brains were autopsied for evidence of the tangles and plaques you expect to find in Alzheimer’s patients.

The researchers found that cognitive decline was roughly 15 percent lower for the more mentally active participants compared to those who were less mentally active. They also found that mental activity over the last few years wasn’t as good of an indicator as mental activity throughout life is.

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