Mainstream medicine has very little to offer people looking to prevent or reverse dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. So, it’s no wonder people often turn to easily accessible “brain training” games in an attempt to forestall the devastation of this disease.
But there isn’t much evidence that playing these games actually staves off cognitive loss…
Instead, as a new study published in the British Medical Journal suggests, preserving your cognitive capacity involves practicing this simple “life skill”…
An engaged mind is key to preventing mental decline
For the new study, researchers recruited nearly 500 Scottish men and women who were born in 1936. All the participants had taken an intelligence test at the age of 11. And at the study’s outset, they were all about 64 years old.
The researchers assessed the participants’ cognitive ability up to five times over a 15-year period with standardized tests that measured processing speed and memory.
The researchers also asked the participants to complete questionnaires that assessed their “intellectual engagement” as adults. (“Intellectual engagement” was defined as participation and enjoyment in reading, problem-solving, thinking about abstract ideas, and overall intellectual curiosity. And I would like to think writing goes right along with all that.)
Taking all these data points into consideration, researchers found that regularly engaging in intellectual activities boosts lifelong mental ability and provides a “higher cognitive starting point” in older age. In particular, regularly engaging in problem-solving activities seemed to significantly support cognition later in life.
So — I suggest actively striving to solve problems, like you’ve done all your life, well into your golden years. And don’t shy away from new adventures. Instead, learn a new language. Tackle a new skill like carpentry or crafts. And spend some time every day out in Nature. Most of all, stay active and engaged in the world around you.
I should also note, overall cognitive performance still declined by about 1 percent per year among all participants. But — again —men and women who remained “intellectually engaged” in adulthood had a higher “starting point,” so to speak.
My only gripe with this study is that the researchers failed to look at two other very important factors that prior studies showed prevent and reverse cognitive decline and dementia…
Nutritional and lifestyle factors!
Fortunately, I’ve outlined the most effective, sensible nutritional and lifestyle approaches in preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. I suggest checking out my Complete Alzheimer’s Cure online learning protocol. It includes only the best research-based recommendations so you can protect and strengthen your brain into your 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond! Click here to learn more or enroll today.
“Intellectual engagement and cognitive ability in later life (the “use it or lose it” conjecture): longitudinal, prospective study,” BMJ 2018;363:k4925