People who are genetically prone to Alzheimer’s can stay away from the mental-illness by keeping their brains actively involved in an intellectual activity, a research has reported.
A recent study analyzed people with cases of Alzheimer’s running in their families, i.e. the ones who naturally carried that trait in their genes. In the results it was found that the ones who worked in complex fields, went to colleges and stayed intellectually engaged stayed off from the illness alteast ten years longer than the others.
Other activities that involved lifelong intellectual engagement such as reading or playing music, which kept the mind fit even as people aged, also helped in delaying Alzheimer’s by years in people who were at risk of the disease by not having engaged in any intellectual activity for most parts of their life.
It is estimated that nearly 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease which is the most common type of dementia, and the number is expected to increase threefold by 2050. The new discovery associates long term intellectual activities and reduction in rates of Alzheimer’s in cases at risk of the disease.
The researchers say that the act of providing cognitive activities in mid or late-lives of the population may not be as successful a cure for Alzheimer’s and dementia as the diseases’ actual treatment. But if the rate of these diseases reduces even by a fraction, it would be a great achievement.
For the research, 1,995 cases of people between the ages 70 and 89 who did not have dementia were studied. The education and occupations of all these people were closely examined.