Mental exercise and dementia in the news again

This morning, several news items appeared in the world press on a study relating the impact of mental exercises to the incidence of dementia in the elderly.  The new study, reported the Aug. 4 issue of the journal Neurology, involved following 488 elderl y people aged 75 to 85 (mean age 79.5)  for an average of five years.  The participants did not have dementia when they enrolled in the study and 101 of them developed dementia during the study period. “We assessed the influence of self-reported participation in cognitively stimulating leisure activities on the onset of accelerated memory decline.” (The activities reported on were daily reading, writing, group discussions, playing music, doing crossword puzzles, and playing board or card games.)  “Results: Each additional self-reported day of cognitive activity at baseline delayed the onset of accelerated memory decline by 0.18 years (66 days)(ref).”  “”The point of accelerated decline was delayed by 1.29 years for the person who participated in 11 activities per week compared to the person who participated in only four activities per week,” said study author Charles B. Hall of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY(ref).”

The link between mental activity and a reduced risk of dementia is not new.  “In one study, Dr Valenzuela, a clinical neuroscience research fellow at the University of NSW school of psychiatry, looked at almost 29,000 people.”   (The study combined data from 22 studies worldwide.) “He found that a lifetime of complex mental activity almost halved the risk of dementia. — A separate study conducted over three years used repeated brain scans of healthy people aged over 60. It found those who led mentally stimulating lives had “less shrinkage of the hippocampus”, the area of the brain associated with memory and the first area affected by Alzheimer’s(ref).”

I have written about mental exercise before in this blog.  See the post Brain fitness, Google and comprehending longevity.  Repeating something I said there, “Try and get your arms around longevity research and I can personally guarantee you will get ample mental exercise.” Physical exercise too powerfully helps postpone or prevent dementia – but that will be the subject of another blog posting.

About Vince Giuliano

Being a follower, connoisseur, and interpreter of longevity research is my latest career. I have been at this part-time for well over a decade, and in 2007 this became my mainline activity. In earlier reincarnations of my career. I was founding dean of a graduate school and a university professor at the State University of New York, a senior consultant working in a variety of fields at Arthur D. Little, Inc., Chief Scientist and C00 of Mirror Systems, a software company, and an international Internet consultant. I got off the ground with one of the earliest PhD's from Harvard in a field later to become known as computer science. Because there was no academic field of computer science at the time, to get through I had to qualify myself in hard sciences, so my studies focused heavily on quantum physics. In various ways I contributed to the Computer Revolution starting in the 1950s and the Internet Revolution starting in the late 1980s. I am now engaged in doing the same for The Longevity Revolution. I have published something like 200 books and papers as well as over 430 substantive.entries in this blog, and have enjoyed various periods of notoriety. If you do a Google search on Vincent E. Giuliano, most if not all of the entries on the first few pages that come up will be ones relating to me. I have a general writings site at and an extensive site of my art at Please note that I have recently changed my mailbox to
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