Use Brain to Fight Dementia

Use Brain to Fight Dementia Although recent studies suggest that doing what you love could lower your risk of Alzheimer's, it does not mean that rushing out and buying expensive computer programs or Sudoku books was going to ensure that you don't get Alzheimer's disease.

According to the study everyday experiences could play a vital role in lowering an individual's risk of dementia.

The theory is based on the concept of cognitive reserve. This concept says that some people's brains are able to ward off dementia because of the experiences that they have had in their lifetimes.

International expert, Professor Yaakov Stern, of Columbia University, says, "The epidemiology suggests that the people who have greater educational attainment, higher occupational attainment, engage in more leisure activities, perhaps exercise more or do more physical activity seem to do better in the ageing process,"

He also said that cognitive reserve was a very flexible function and so the activities an individual is involved with can have an effect on this reserve.

The studies said that those with the better brains had areas of the brain that were used when an individual did something they liked, function better. Such people tended to be more efficient.

However, experts say that this exercise would not guarantee the absence of dementia, especially in people with hereditary risks. Getting involved in activities only lowered the probability of getting the disease.

Brain training groups running as a part of major research projects at the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sidney are looking at building cognitive research. Results from the studies were encouraging and training the brain could lower the probability of age related brain conditions.

Prof. Stern and Dr. Naismith will present their theories at a symposium in Sydney on Wednesday as part of the Australian Psychological Society's College of Clinical Neuropsychologists' conference.