While more evidence is needed, there are signs that brain exercises and learning new skills can help prevent dementia. Recent data, such as the ACTIVE study (with ~2,800 patients aged 65+) show cognitive benefits lasting up to 5 years for seniors engaged in brain exercises, with reports of these gains translating more broadly into their everyday lives. Other studies have shown that before symptoms appear, seniors can reduce the risk or even prevent dementia by keeping mentally active and learning new skills. These should be new skills and activities that help you to learn new things– crossword puzzles, sudoku and reading books from your favorite author aren’t necessarily enough. New forms of exercise, dance, learning musical instruments or a new foreign language can help slow the erosion of brain cells and create new neural connections, which can reduce or prevent dementia. In addition to the positive health benefits, each of these activities can help you live a more full and rich life.
Were you aware that learning new skills and keeping your mind active could prevent dementia and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
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