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Mental Health: Being social, educated, and employed helps to prevent cognitive decline −Study

*Health experts say keeping the mind active through several different activities is beneficial for consumers’ cognitive health

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Researchers from the American Academy of Neurology, in a fresh study  explored some of the factors that may protect consumers from cognitive decline.

The study findings indicated that an active social life, having a job, and educational abilities may serve to protect consumers from developing dementia or Alzheimer’s, agency report said.

Researcher Dorina Cadar, Ph.D, said: “These results are exciting because they indicate that cognitive ability is subject to factors throughout our lifetime and taking part in an intellectually, socially, and physically active lifestyle may help ward off cognitive decline and dementia.

“It’s heartening to find that building up one’s cognitive reserve may offset the negative influence of low childhood cognition for people who might not have benefited from an enriching childhood and offer stronger mental resilience until later in life.”

In exploring ways to protect cognitive health of consumers, the researchers had nearly 1,200 participants involved in this long-term study.

The group took cognitive assessments when they were eight years old and then again at nearly 70 years old.

The team checked in on important factors over the course of the study – education at age 26, leisure activities at age 43, and occupation at age 53.

The study findings also showed that these factors were beneficial in preserving long-term cognitive health.

For starters, the team found that participants who had the highest scores on the cognitive exam when they were kids were also more likely to have similarly high scores later in life.

Additionally, each individual factor – education, occupation, and leisure activities – helped protect cognitive health as the participants aged.

Having an active social life proved to have the biggest effect on the participants, said the experts.

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