Mentally Challenging Activities good for the Brain

A new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reveals that taking part in mentally challenging activities can help protect the brain against new onset mild cognitive impairment.

For the study, 1,929 adults 70 and older were among the test group — 1/2 of the participants were at least 77 years old. At the end of the study, the researchers found that engaging in brain games was associated with a 22% reduced risk of onset, while making crafts was associated with a 28% reduced risk.

The researchers also closely studied a subset of the test group: 512 people who carried the gene (APOE) associated with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Among the group with this genetic predisposition,  the only activities associated with reduced risk of mild impairment were socializing and computer use.

According to FOX News, earlier research has shown that devoting several hours a week over several months to mentally challenging and novel tasks, such as photography and quilting, all help protect the brain against mild cognitive impairment, as does physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

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