Having a good listener may prevent cognitive decline

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In a new study from NYU, researchers found supportive social interactions in adulthood are important for your ability to stave off cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer’s disease.

They that simply having someone available most or all of the time whom you can count on to listen to you when you need to talk is linked to greater cognitive resilience.

It is a measure of your brain’s ability to function better than would be expected for the amount of physical aging– or disease-related changes in the brain.

This study adds to growing evidence that people can take steps, either for themselves or the people they care about most, to increase the odds they’ll slow down cognitive aging or prevent the development of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

An estimated 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive condition that affects mostly those over 65 and interferes with memory, language, decision-making, and the ability to live independently.

In the study, the team used data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) as the source of their study’s 2,171 participants, with an average age of 63.

They found the cognitive function of individuals with greater availability of one specific form of social support was higher relative to their total cerebral volume.

This key form of social support was listener availability and it was highly associated with greater cognitive resilience.

Researchers note that further study of individual social interactions may improve understanding of the biological mechanisms that link psychosocial factors to brain health.

They also recommend that physicians consider adding this question to the standard social history portion of a patient interview: asking patients whether they have access to someone they can count on to listen to them when they need to talk.

If you care about Alzheimer’s disease, please read studies about these 2 personality traits may protect you from Alzheimer’s disease and more and findings of this new drug may prevent Alzheimer’s disease effectively and safely.

For more information about Alzheimer’s and your health, please see recent studies about your eyes can show early warning for Alzheimer’s disease and results showing a simple tool to predict your risk of Alzheimer’s.

The study is published in JAMA Network Open. One author of the study is Joel Salinas, MD.

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