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Increased mental and physical activity can keep you sharp as you age

As the aging population in the United States continues to grow, more people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease every day, and the number is expected to grow. 13 million in 2050. A new study looks at how lifestyle factors, specifically physical and mental activities, affect the brain’s thinking reserve and impact the mental aging process.

Study for one point for each mental activity, (including reading, playing cards or games, and going to a class) with up to three points. For each additional mental activity over three years, women reduced the aging of their mental processing by 10 years. For men, it’s 17 years.

“It’s never too early or too late to engage in mentally and physically stimulating activities,” said Judy Pa, study author and researcher. Luck. “You should also try new activities to continue to challenge your brain, mind, and body to learn and adapt.”

Women are more likely to participate in group social activities than men, which may explain the difference between the sexes. Group activities involving a social background, learning a new language or skill, or trying out a new game are potentially beneficial activities, says Pa.

The researchers further concluded that increased mental activity was associated with faster thinking speed in both men and women, and only increased memory reserves in women.

Research, released on July 20 by the American Academy of Neurology, analyzed brain scans of 758 individuals with an average age of 76. The study also examined the participants’ thinking speed and calculate their “cognitive reserve,” described as the ability to have strong thinking skills. when the individual has dementia or cognitive impairment. The researchers compared these scores to the participants’ weekly levels of physical and mental activity.

Research shows that physical activity is associated with faster thinking speed in women, but not in men, while physical activity is not associated with greater memory reserves in men or women. female. The study authors found that twice as much physical activity as originally recorded cuts women’s life expectancy by 2.75 years as it relates to their processing speed..

Women are more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than men, and they create two-third of cases. This may be due to a more complex set of biological and social factors involved in hormone levels and the stress that accompanies aging, Pa said. Therefore, studying how physical and mental activity affects men and women differently is important, but Pa noted that more research is needed to determine any correlation between activity and physical activity. physical, mental performance and cognitive reserve in men compared with women.

“What types of activities, frequency and subjects are areas of active investigation in the field of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Pa. “Final, [increasing mental activity] is a favorable relationship in women and men and offers novel behavioral treatments to combat the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. “

Although lifestyle changes have been shown to slow or prevent cognitive decline, more research is still needed to empirically study differences by sex. Stephen Rao, a professor of neurology and director of the Schey Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging at the Cleveland Clinic. He pushed for more experimental studies, examining equal numbers of men and women, and equal numbers of people with a predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease.

“There is good evidence that physical activity and higher levels of mental activity have a protective effect on the brain,” says Rao, noting that exercisers are more likely to procrastinate. onset of Alzheimer’s disease, which can reduce the total number of people living with it over time. and died of illness.

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