Scientists have come up with yet more evidence to suggest that keeping the brain active can ward off senile dementia.
Researchers in the United States have found that dancing, playing musical instruments, reading and playing board games can all reduce the risks of developing the condition – senile dementia.
Dr. Joe Verghese and colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York carried out their study on 469 people over the age of 75.
The researchers examined each person’s lifestyle to see if they engaged in physical or mental activity.
They found no link between physical activity and a reduced risk of dementia.
People who exercised a lot were still at risk of developing the condition.
However, they did find a link between mental activity and a reduced risk of dementia.
People who exercised their brains were less likely to develop the condition.
Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers said: “Reading, playing board games, playing musical instruments and dancing were associated with a reduced risk of dementia.”
They added: “Participation in leisure activities is associated with a reduced risk of dementia.”
“However, static mental exercise alone is not enough – the well being and improved general health that comes from many physical activities bring added benefits in preventing cardiovascular disease and falls.”