Keeping Busy May Also Keep Dementia at Bay by Improving Cognitive Skills

Keeping Busy May Also Keep Dementia at Bay by Improving Cognitive Skills
A somewhat hectic schedule might protect a person from cognitive decline, a study from the University of Texas at Dallas reported. Busy people had better processing speed, working memory, episodic memory, and reasoning and language skills independent of age and education, indicating that a busy lifestyle might boost neuronal connections. Busy lifestyles — a hallmark of our time — are frequently associated with negative health outcomes, but few studies have looked into the relationship between keeping busy and cognitive health. The study,"The Busier the Better: Greater Busyness Is Associated with Better Cognition," explored engagement levels and cognition, and how they vary with age in 330 individuals enrolled in the Dallas Lifespan Brain Study (DLBS). The participants, ages 50 to 89, were assessed on five cognitive constructs — processing speed, working memory, episodic memory, reasoning, and crystallized knowledge, which measures vocabulary. They also completed a questionnaire about their levels of activity. Demographic data revealed that younger participants tended to be more busy than older ones. Likewise, women were more busy than men, as were people with higher education levels. Busier people also had faster processing speed, better working and episodic memory, as well as better reasoning and vocabulary.  An older age did not impact the relationship, since analyses showed the association was similar across the age range investigated. Taking both age and education into account, the study, published in the journal
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.