24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Alzheimers Disease and other Cognitive Disorders
Resources
Basic Information
Introduction & Causes of Cognitive DisordersDementiaAlzheimer's DiseaseOther Cognitive DisordersDementia Coping Skills & Behavior ManagementTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI)Conclusion and Resources
More InformationLatest News
Long-Term Outlook for Most With Serious Brain Injury Is Better Than ThoughtDrug Shows Promise in Easing Dementia-Linked PsychosisAHA News: Diabetes and Dementia Risk: Another Good Reason to Keep Blood Sugar in Check1 in 20 Cases of Dementia Occurs in People Under 65Could Menopausal Hormone Therapy Reduce Women's Odds for Dementia?Reading, Puzzles May Delay Alzheimer's by 5 Years: StudyTwo Major Health Systems Won't Administer Controversial New Alzheimer's DrugMost Marriages Survive a Spouse's Brain InjuryMedicare Mulls Coverage for Controversial Alzheimer's DrugFDA Head Asks for Investigation Into Alzheimer's Drug ApprovalNew Prescribing Instructions Tighten Use of Controversial Alzheimer's DrugMissing Teeth, Higher Odds for Dementia?AHA News: Smoking Harms the Brain, Raises Dementia Risk – But Not If You QuitHealthy Living Can Lower Your Odds for Alzheimer'sKeeping Same Nurse for All Home Health Care May Be Crucial for Dementia PatientsMost Cases of Dementia in U.S. Seniors Go Undiagnosed: StudyLilly to Seek FDA Approval for New Alzheimer's DrugCould a Type of Statin Raise Dementia Risks?Good News, Bad News From Alzheimer's Vaccine TrialPoor Sleep After Head Injury Could Point to Dementia RiskFDA Approves Alzheimer's Drug Despite Expert Panel's ObjectionsFDA Defends Approval of Controversial Alzheimer's DrugPeople of Color Have Twice the Risk of Dying After Brain Injury, Study FindsIn People With Type 1 Diabetes, Poor Blood Sugar Control Could Raise Dementia RiskThere's Been a Shift in Who's Funding Alzheimer's ResearchHealthy Living Helps Prevent Dementia, Even If It Runs in the FamilyAHA News: Is It Normal Aging or Early Signs of Dementia?Failing Kidneys Could Bring Higher Dementia RiskDementia Risk Rises as Years Lived With Type 2 Diabetes IncreasesHead Injury, Alzheimer's Appear to Affect Brain in Similar WaysBrain Injuries Raise Long-Term Risk of StrokeResearch Shows Links Between Gum Disease and Alzheimer'sAssisted Living Centers Can Do More for Dementia Patients, Experts SayDiminished Hearing, Vision Together Could Be Risk Factor for Dementia6 Steps to Reduce Caregiver StressLoneliness in Mid-Life Linked to Higher Odds for Alzheimer'sDrug Used in Cancer Patients Might Help Treat Alzheimer's'Non-Drug' Approaches Can Fight Depression in People With DementiaSuicide Attempts Spike Soon After Dementia DiagnosisCould a New Drug Help Ease Alzheimer's?AHA News: Dementia May Be a Risk Factor for Infection But Not Death From COVID-19Your Eyes May Signal Your Risk for Stroke, DementiaEven 1 Concussion May Raise Your Odds for Dementia LaterAlzheimer's Patients Are Being Given Too Many MedsMany Blacks, Hispanics Believe They'll Get Worse Care If Dementia StrikesAlzheimer's May Strike Women and Men in Different WaysHistory of Mental Illness Tied to Earlier Onset of Alzheimer's DiseaseAHA News: Black, Hispanic Families Hit Hardest by DementiaWhy Some 'Super Ager' Folks Keep Their Minds Dementia-FreeDementia Seen in Younger Adults Shows Even More Brain Damage Than Alzheimer's
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Reading, Puzzles May Delay Alzheimer's by 5 Years: Study

HealthDay News
by Steven Reinberg
Updated: Jul 15th 2021

new article illustration

THURSDAY, July 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- An active mind in old age may delay Alzheimer's disease by up to five years, a new study suggests.

Activities like reading, writing letters, playing cards or doing puzzles may prolong brain health even for those in their 80s, researchers say.

"The key element is that you're processing information," said lead researcher Robert Wilson, a professor in the neurological sciences department at Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago.

"Reading is certainly important, but anything that stimulates the mind and is challenging to you intellectually can be helpful," he said.

Wilson cautioned that this study can't prove that being mentally active delays dementia, but it "suggests that reading and various cognitive activities may be helpful."

Although other studies have shown that an active mind delays dementia, this study put a real-world timeframe on the delay.

"There are already estimates that a five-year delay in the onset of this disease could reduce its impact by 40% in the population," he said.

For the study, Wilson's team collected data on nearly 2,000 people with an average age of 80 who did not have dementia at the start of the study.

Over seven years, participants were given several mental acuity, or cognitive, tests.

At the start, participants were asked how often they read books and how often they played games like checkers, board games, cards or puzzles in the past year. Participants were also asked about cognitive activity in childhood, adulthood and middle age.

Over the follow-up period, 457 people with an average age of 89 developed Alzheimer's dementia. Those who had the highest levels of mental activity developed dementia at 94. Those with the lowest levels developed dementia at 89, the researchers found.

Wilson's group also studied the brains of 695 people who died during the study. They looked for markers of Alzheimer's like amyloid and tau deposits and tangles, but no association between mental activity and markers of Alzheimer's disease or other disorders in the brain was found.

Wilson noted that "keeping mentally active is not a pill to stop the underlying plaques and tangles" linked with Alzheimer's disease. The buildup of amyloid protein plaques in the brain, as well as "tangles" of another protein, tau, are hallmarks of the illness.

Although there are no effective treatments or cures for Alzheimer's, Wilson and another expert, Dr. Sam Gandy of New York City, said the study adds to evidence that lifestyle changes are one way to help ward off dementia.

"This fits beautifully with decades of basic science and provides the first detailed 'prescription' for cognitive activity that doctors can offer to their patients and to the public at large," said Gandy. He is associate director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

"We have had three sessions of 30 minutes each per week of brisk walking or weight training for a while. Now we can add this cognitive activity prescription to our repertoire," Gandy said.

Wilson added, "Changing lifestyles to be more conducive to having a healthy brain can have an enormous impact on your risk for this disease."

The report was funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, and published online July 14 in the journal Neurology.

More information

For more on a healthy brain, head to the Alzheimer's Association.

SOURCES: Robert Wilson, PhD, professor, department of neurological sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago; Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, associate director, Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and professor of neurology and psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Neurology, July 14, 2021, online