Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain exercises may slow cognitive decline initially, but speed up dementia later

Date:
September 1, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
New research shows that mentally stimulating activities such as crossword puzzles, reading and listening to the radio may, at first, slow the decline of thinking skills but speed up dementia later in old age.

New research shows that mentally stimulating activities such as crossword puzzles, reading and listening to the radio may, at first, slow the decline of thinking skills but speed up dementia later in old age. The research is published in the September 1, 2010, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Related Articles


"Our results suggest that the benefit of delaying the initial signs of cognitive decline may come at the cost of more rapid dementia progression later on, but the question is why does this happen?" said study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

According to Wilson, mentally stimulating activities may somehow enhance the brain's ability to function relatively normally despite the buildup of lesions in the brain associated with dementia. However, once they are diagnosed with dementia, people who have a more mentally active lifestyle are likely to have more brain changes related to dementia compared to those without a lot of mental activity. As a result, those with more mentally active lifestyles may experience a faster rate of decline once dementia begins.

Wilson noted that mental activities compress the time period that a person spends with dementia, delaying its start and then speeding up its progress. "This reduces the overall amount of time that a person may suffer from dementia," he said.

For the study, researchers evaluated the mental activities of 1,157 people age 65 or older who did not have dementia at the start of the nearly 12-year study. People answered questions about how often they participated in mental activities such as listening to the radio, watching television, reading, playing games and going to a museum; for this five-point cognitive activity scale, the more points scored, the more often people participated in mentally stimulating exercises.

During the next six years, the study found that the rate of cognitive decline in people without cognitive impairment was reduced by 52 percent for each point on the cognitive activity scale. For people with Alzheimer's disease, the average rate of decline per year increased by 42 percent for each point on the cognitive activity scale.

The study was supported by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. S. Wilson, L. L. Barnes, N. T. Aggarwal, P. A. Boyle, L. E. Hebert, C. F. Mendes de Leon, and D. A. Evans. Cognitive activity and the cognitive morbidity of Alzheimer disease. Neurology, 2010; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181f25b5e

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Brain exercises may slow cognitive decline initially, but speed up dementia later." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901161549.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2010, September 1). Brain exercises may slow cognitive decline initially, but speed up dementia later. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901161549.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Brain exercises may slow cognitive decline initially, but speed up dementia later." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901161549.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Researchers at University of Texas at Austin found a link between binge-watching TV shows and feelings of loneliness and depression. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

BuzzFeed (Jan. 28, 2015) — "No, I&apos;m not mad. Why, are you mad?" Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) — Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) — A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins