• By Vivien Williams

Mayo Clinic Minute: Brain activities decrease risk of dementia

August 2, 2019

Staying mentally active, even later in life, may decrease your risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia. That's according to a new Mayo Clinic study published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Janina Krell-Roesch, a researcher for Mayo Clinic's Translational Neuroscience and Aging Program, says that taking part in two or more different mentally stimulating activities reduces the risk of mild cognitive impairment in participants 70 and older.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads at the end of the post. Please "Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.

The study looked at five mentally stimulating activities:

  • Using a computer
  • Reading books
  • Social activities, such as going to the movies or meeting with friends
  • Playing games, such as doing crosswords or doing puzzles
  • Craft activities

Results showed three things:

  1. The more activities that you do, the more your risk decreases.
  2. It is never too late to start.
  3. You don't need any fancy brain game gadgets.

"Simple activities, such as meeting friends, going out to a museum, playing games, these things were actually beneficial for brain health," says Dr. Krell-Roesch.

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