NEW YORK (Dispatches) -- New study suggests that reading, writing letters and playing card games or puzzles in later life may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia.
Study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago said that their findings suggest it may be beneficial to start doing these things, even in our 80s, to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia.
The study looked at 1,978 people with an average age of 80 who did not have dementia at the start of the study. The people were followed for an average of seven years. To determine if they had developed dementia, participants were given annual examinations, which included a number of cognitive tests.
Wilson said their study showed that people who engaged in more cognitively stimulating activities may be delaying the age at which they develop dementia.He said it was important to note that after they accounted for late life level of cognitive activity, neither education nor early life cognitive activity were associated with the age at which a person developed Alzheimer’s dementia.
Their research suggested that the link between cognitive activity and the age at which a person developed dementia is mainly driven by the activities you do later in life.