It’s estimated that 36 Million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide, and as the population ages, that number is expected to increase to 66 million by 2030 and 115 million by 2050.
The Archives of Neurology published a study in which researchers looked at 75 healthy people who are 60 years of age and older. They looked at mental activity such as reading, writing, and playing games. The researchers then compared brain scans of healthy people versus people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers found that people who challenge their brains throughout their lifetime are less likely to develop these protein deposits in the brain that are linked with Alzheimer’s compared with people who didn’t do those brain activating things throughout their lives.
The study also showed that if the Alzheimer’s patients took up these reading and writing games or exercises later in their life it didn’t make a difference. The key to reducing the chances of Alzheimer’s was to have this life-long brain-challenging pattern.
On one hand, we aren’t sure this was the most effective study because it required people to remember back to what they did when they were growing up, but we do like that it reinforces a lot of what people believe, that trying to keep your brain sharp seems to protect you.
So whether it’s something as simple as crossword puzzles, bingo or computer games, do something to stay mentally sharp- it may not save your life, but it could save your mind!