Increased social activity may decrease risk of cognitive decline

According to researchers at the Rush University Medical Center, frequent social activity may help prevent or delay cognitive decline in older patients.

“It’s logical to think that when someone’s cognitive abilities break down, they are less likely to go out and meet friends,” says lead researcher Bryan James. “But our findings suggest that social inactivity itself leads to cognitive impairments.”

Researchers examined more than 1,100 subjects with a mean age of 80. Each underwent an annual neuropsychological test for a number of years and answered a questionnaire designed to gauge their level of social activity. Over an average of five years, it was shown that those who were more socially active had reduced rates of cognitive decline – nearly a quarter less than those who interacted the least with others.

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