FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/ Using It or Losing It /
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Using It or Losing It
(Page 1 of 2)
Two new studies confirm that staying
active does indeed have a positive effect on reducing
your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The first, recently published in Neurology,
involved nearly 300 older people. At the start of the
study, participants reported on how frequently they
engaged in mentally stimulating experiences such as
reading books, writing letters, reading the newspaper
and visiting libraries. By studying brain
autopsies after the participants died, the scientists
found that 14 percent of the variability in mental
decline could be attributed to the amount of
intellectual activity in which people participated, both
early and late in life. And that effect was seen even
after the researchers accounted for other factors that
influence dementia like age and education.
The second study out of France showed
that people who delay retirement have less risk of
developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
"Our data show strong evidence of a significant decrease
in the risk of developing dementia associated with older
age at retirement, in line with the 'use it or lose it'
hypothesis," said Carole Dufouil in a published
statement. Dufouil is director of research in
neuroepidemiology at INSERM at the Bordeaux School of
These studies come up at a perfect time
to make my own conclusive study of over 50,000 attendees
at 125 Fearless Caregiver conferences held across the
nation. The results show that staying involved with your
community of caregivers, not isolating yourself from
others who care, becoming the CEO of Caring for My Loved
One, Inc. and asking questions of everyone involved in
your loved one’s care not only makes you a better
caregiver, but really feels right.