People who practice keeping their brain sharp throughout their lifetime are less likely to develop protein deposits in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s.
Reading, writing and playing games help to sharpen our minds researchers said.
Alzheimer’s comes from a destructive protein deposit called beta amyloid. In some prior studies it was suggested that well educated people who stayed sharp mentally could avoid the protein buildup.
But the latest study, based on brain-imaging research, suggests that people who stay mentally engaged beginning in childhood and remain so throughout their lives actually develop fewer amyloid plaques.
“We’re not talking about the brain’s response to amyloid. We’re talking about the actual accumulation of amyloid,” Dr. William Jagust of the University of California, Berkeley, whose study appears in the Archives of Neurology, said in an interview. “It’s a brand new finding.”
While small, the study also shows that starting brain-stimulating activities early enough might offer a way to prevent Alzheimer’s-related plaques from building up in the brain.
Currently, there are no drugs that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease, which scientists now think begins 10 to 15 years before memory problems set in.
Alzheimer’s Disease International estimates there are now 36 million people with the disease worldwide. As the population ages, that number will increase to 66 million by 2030, and to 115 million by 2050.Last week, the U.S. government released draft recommendations for a national Alzheimer’s plan that calls for finding effective treatments or prevention strategies by 2025. (News Daily)
So set aside some time everyday to sharpen your skills at games, reading or writing it could save your brain.