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Social activity 'staves off cognitive decline'

Social activity 'staves off cognitive decline'
26th April 2011

Older people, who may be looking to find a care home, could benefit cognitively from high levels of social activity, researchers suggest.

Scientists at Rush University Medical Center found that frequent social activity could help to stave off the cognitive decline that accompanies ageing in the study published online in the Journal of International Neuropsychological Society.

Lead researcher Bryan James explained that while people experiencing cognitive decline are not as likely to partake in social activities, the evidence indicates that lack of social activity actually leads to cognitive decline.

He explained that one possibility is that: "Social activity challenges older adults to participate in complex interpersonal exchanges, which could promote or main efficient neural networks in a case of use it or lose it.'"

This follows research by Laura Fratiglioni, of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, who said that although ageing is the major risk factor involved in dementia, the neurodegenerative condition can be delayed by leading a well rounded and active life.

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