How often old people read a newspaper, play chess, or engage in other mentally stimulating activities is related to risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.
The study 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. This association remained after controlling for past cognitive activity, lifetime socioeconomic status, and current social and physical activity.
This is hopeful. But it may just be that people whose brains are healthy are more likely to engage in mentally stimulating activities.