During summer, the Arizona heat can cause tendency for a person to move from an active lifestyle to a dormant, inside routine. Plenty of studies have shown that even keeping active with indoor activities can help both your body and mind age.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic (Minnesota, USA) studied 197 men and women, ages 70 to 89 years, with mild cognitive impairment, or diagnosed memory loss, and 1,124 people that age with no memory problems. Both groups were surveyed as to their daily activities within the past year and in middle age, when they were between 50 to 65 years old. The team report that during later years, reading books, playing games, participating in computer activities and doing craft activities such as pottery or quilting led to a 30 to 50% decrease in the risk of developing memory loss (as compared to people who did not engage in these activities.)
Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York, USA) researchers studied 488 cognitively healthy men and women, following their habits in engaging in cognitively stimulating leisure activities and charting the onset of accelerated memory decline. The team found that for each additional activity day spent reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles, playing board or card games, engaging in group discussions, or playing a musical instrument, older individuals who eventually developed dementia delayed the onset of accelerated memory decline by more than two months.
Engage in mentally stimulating activities. Crafting, reading books, playing board games, doing a crossword puzzle or Sudoku, and surfing the Internet are not only fun ways to learn new things, but may help protect against future memory loss as well.
The medial temporal lobe is the area of the brain that atrophies to cause the cognitive decline characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease. Gwenaelle Douaud, from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), and colleagues administered a combination of vitamin B12 (500 µg), vitamin B6 20 mg, and folic acid, or placebo, to 156 older men and women, for a two-year period. The researchers observed that the 80 subjects receiving B vitamins showed significantly less brain degeneration, as compared to the placebo group. Specifically, the plasma homocysteine levels were lowered by 29%. Submitting that: “Our results show that B-vitamin supplementation can slow the atrophy of specific brain regions that are a key component of the [Alzheimer’s Disease] process and that are associated with cognitive decline.”