Posted on Sep 29, 2009, 6 a.m.
Seniors who engage in mind-stimulating activities slash their risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
In that evidence continues to amass that involvement in leisure activities may reduce the risk of dementia, Tasnime Akbaraly, from INSERM (France), and colleagues studied 5,698 men and women, ages 65 and older, in an effort to elucidate the underlying mechanism of this association. During the four-year study period, the researchers found that mind-stimulating leisure time pursuits, such as doing crossword puzzles or playing cards, exerted a significant protective effect. In contrast, the team did not observe any protective effect from physical, passive, or social leisure activities, such as walking, watching television, or visiting with friends. The researchers conclude that: “Our findings support the hypothesis that cognitively stimulating leisure activities may delay the onset of dementia in community-dwelling elders.”
Akbaraly TN, Portet F, Fustinoni S, Dartigues JF, Artero S, Rouaud O, Touchon J, Ritchie K, Berr C. “Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly: results from the Three-City Study.” Neurology. 2009 Sep 15;73(11):854-61.