Sunday, July 01, 2007

Chess Prevents Alzheimer's

From United Press International:

Chess, reading help prevent Alzheimer's
Posted on : 2007-06-29 Author : Health News Editor News Category : Health

CHICAGO, June 29 (UPI) How often elderly people read a newspaper, play chess or engage in mental exercise is linked to their Alzheimer's risk, says a U.S. study.

The study, published in the online edition of Neurology, found a cognitively active person in old age was 2.6 times less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease than a cognitively inactive person in old age.

The association remained after controlling for past cognitive activity, lifetime socioeconomic status, and current social and physical activity.

Study author Robert S. Wilson, of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, studied more than 700 people in Chicago with an average age of 80 who underwent yearly cognitive testing for up to five years.

The researchers also found frequent cognitive activity during old age, such as visiting a library or attending a play, was associated with reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment, a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia, and a less rapid decline in cognitive function.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International