Keeping the mind active and taking regular exercise helps to delay the onset of dementia, a new study has found.
It has long been thought that working the mind and body are effective ways of fending off the cognitive disorder, but new research conducted in the United States has gone about proving it.
Led by Dennis Selkoe, co-director of the Harvard School of Medicine's Centre for Neurologic Diseases, the study looked how regular exposure to new activities affected the brain.
The team found that adrenaline-related brain receptors are triggered in a thought provoking environment and these prevented amyloid-beta proteins from weakening the communication between nerve cells in the brain's hippocampus, where memories are held.
"This part of our work suggests that prolonged exposure to a richer, more novel environment beginning even in middle age might help protect the hippocampus from the bad effects of amyloid-beta," Dr Selkoe explained.
The research is published in the latest edition of the Neuron journal.
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