A team from the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing at UNSW Sydney has discovered that older adults with strong social ties are less likely to suffer from cognitive decline and have a reduced risk of dementia and death.
The study, which looked at people aged 65 and above from various global regions, indicates the protective role of regular social interaction.
The analysis included data from diverse social activities like living with others, participating in community groups, and having close confidantes.
These activities are linked to a lower chance of developing mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or dying early.
Social relationships may encourage healthier lifestyles and act as a buffer against stress, which is beneficial for brain health.
While it’s unclear whether social connections directly affect cognitive health or if pre-existing conditions influence social activity, the researchers suggest maintaining regular contact with friends and family, engaging in community activities, and sharing your thoughts with trusted individuals as strategies to stay mentally sharp and extend lifespan.
This research lays the groundwork for future interventions aiming to boost social connections among the elderly to support their brain health and overall well-being.
If you care about brain health, please read studies about inflammation that may actually slow down cognitive decline in older people, and low vitamin D may speed up cognitive decline.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about common exercises that could protect against cognitive decline, and results showing that this MIND diet may protect your cognitive function, prevent dementia.
The research findings can be found in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
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