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Activity 'staves off dementia'

Activity 'staves off dementia'
21st February 2011

Older people can avoid dementia by remaining physically, mentally and socially active, one expert has said.

Laura Fratiglioni, of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, has said that while aging is the major risk factor involved in dementia, the neurodegenerative condition can be avoided or delayed by leading an active and well rounded life.

In a few years time, scientists will have more information on specific strategies that can be used to prevent such disorders, she said.

"The brain, just as other parts of the body, requires stimulation and exercise in order to continue to function. Elderly people with an active life – mentally, physically and socially – run a lower risk of developing dementia, and it doesn't matter what the particular activities are," explained Ms Fratiglioni.

Meanwhile, research carried out at Rush University Medical Center has found that higher levels of social activity in older people are linked to a decreased chance of physical disability.

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