20 Feb Newsflash: keeping your brain active keeps it from atrophying
Even in your 70s and beyond, simple activities including playing bridge and socializing may help stave off mental decline.
That’s the conclusion of a study released Monday.
It didn’t look at costly, computer-based games that purport to keep the brain sharp. Instead, it found a benefit from activities many seniors have access to: computer use; making crafts; playing games including chess or bridge; and going to movies or other types of socializing.
Those activities appeared to help prevent mild cognitive impairment. That condition involves problems with memory, thinking and attention that don’t interfere much with daily life but which increase risks for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
This should appear obvious if you think about it, but clearly it’s not, with people seeming to think that watching TV shows and following the storylines qualifies as using your brain. There is no brain power deployed by simply swallowing what you have been spoon fed.
Keeping the brain healthy and active requires that you actually use it by find ways to test it and put its problem solving capacities to use. Such as by dealing with other people. It seems simple, but clearly it’s not.