The Benefits of Using Your Brain

Mild cognitive impairment risk was lower in older adults who did brain-stimulating activities

(RxWiki News) Older adults who do brain-stimulating activities may see big benefits for their mental function, according to a new study.

Older adults who did things like playing games, crafting, using a computer and engaging in social activities were less likely than those who didn't do those things to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI), according to the Mayo Clinic researchers behind this study.

And avoiding MCI is a very good thing. People with MCI have a level of mental function that is below the levels associated with normal aging. It's a stage that often comes before dementia.

To land on these findings, the study authors examined more than 1,900 adults older than 70 who were participating in a study on aging.

These researchers didn't study why mentally stimulating activities were tied to a lower risk of MCI. They noted that their study can't establish cause and effect, and they called for more research on the subject.

Talk to your doctor about ways to help keep your brain healthy.

This study was published in JAMA Neurology.

Funding for this research came from several sources, including the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and several Alzheimer's disease-related organizations. Several study authors reported having ties to pharmaceutical companies, and one author was an editor for the journal Neurology.