Crazy right, how could there be a silver lining in the economy cloud? Well if you are a little older in age and this economy has forced you to rethink retiring, it may be saving your brain.
There is a promising study out of Britain that studied medical records of 382 men whose Alzheimer’s symptoms emerged around age 75. They found that, all other factors being equal, the symptoms were delayed about seven weeks for each extra year the men worked.
It is very perplexing as to why certain people stay mentally sharp and others aren’t. There is some thought that people posses a trait called cognitive reserve. The reserve refers to the brains ability to cope with damage. The more damage, the greater the chance of Alzheimer’s. The theory is the more you expose yourself to mentally challenging activities, things like; education, work, and volunteering, the more reserve you build. The more reserve you have the better the chance you have off fending off memory loss and dementia.
Unfortunately there is not easy answer as to how much is the right amount.
If you are looking to keep active here are some great choices:
- Volunteer. There are so many organizations that need your time. This is a win win. You help out a worthy organization and keep your brain charged up. Get more information here…http://www.volunteermatch.org/
- Get a pet. Especially if you are alone. There are a lot of studies out that show having someone to care for at home will help with fighting dementia.
- Work part time. There are companies out there that would love to have a reliable, nice person working for them
What does not appear to have any benefit are the brain exercise products, often sold as computer based games. A Rhode Island company, reviewed all of the existing trials on such products and concluded in a study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia this spring that loss of memory was not helped with these products.
Shameless plug. There is some talk that better blood flow to the brain equates to a lower chance of getting a certain type of Alzheimer’s. Chiropractors improve the bio mechanics in the neck area, thus improving blood flow to that region. Is this a cure, most definitely not. Is there a chance it could help….we’ll see.
The one thing that everyone can agree on…get and stay active. Use it or lose it does not apply only to muscles, it appears to also do the brain a lot of good.
What are you or a loved one doing to stay active? Please comment below.