More Evidence Using Your Brain Saves It

Know the exercise adage, "Move it or lose it"? Same thing applies to using your brain in relation to Alzheimer's, and a new study confirms this. People who spent most of their lives in jobs that involve little brain work appear more likely to eventually develop Alzheimer's disease, though it remains unclear whether the jobs themselves cause the disease, or if people more prone to the disease are less likely to tackle more mentally challenging careers.

One scientist points out the effects of Alzheimer's disease start early in life, and may influence people's ability to get or keep mentally demanding jobs. It also could mean that that being in mentally demanding jobs for many years helps people to do better mentally when they are older.

For people who have no alternative but to stay in less challenging jobs, other research shows that people who engage in thought-provoking leisure activities also appear to be protected against Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists recommend playing games involving strategy like chess, learning an instrument or a new language, or working crossword puzzles. Trying something new is probably also a good idea. The idea is to do things that actively engage your brain.

Yahoo News August 9, 2004

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