Crosswords Reduce Dementia Risk

We know that having friends can help with reducing risk of dementia in old age, but what do people with small (or nonexistent ) social circles do? They can take up leisure activities that get the brain working. Researchers in Australia have found that people who participate in active leisure are less likely to develop dementia. These activities include crosswords, woodworking, painting, and taking classes for fun.

They found that participants who routinely engaged in adult literacy and mental acuity tasks such as education classes, keeping journals, and doing crosswords were 9-11 percent less likely to develop dementia than their peers.

Creative hobbies like crafting, knitting and painting, and more passive activities like reading reduced the risk by 7 percent. In contrast, the size of someone’s social network and the frequency of external outings to the cinema or restaurant were not associated with dementia risk reduction.

The results remained statistically significant even when adjusted for earlier education level, and socioeconomic status. No significant variations were found between men and women.

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