Despite being in their mid-80s, my grandparents have incredibly sharp minds, live on their own, rarely need assistance with anything and one even still holds a great job. I think it’s no coincidence that they’re constantly reading books, writing letters, fixing things and playing card games–activities that a new study says can help brains from deteriorating with age.
At the 98th scientific assembly and annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago, the study was introduced by researcher Konstantinos Arfanakis and his colleagues. According to the team, doing simple activities to stimulate your mind can protect it from aging.
“Reading the newspaper, writing letters, visiting a library, attending a play or playing games, such as chess or checkers, are all simple activities that can contribute to a healthier brain.”
Though it’s fairly common knowledge that you can stay sharp with these activities, this study is one of the first to look at the brain’s actual physical health. For example, looking at the integrity of the white matter is important, as it transmits information all around the brain, whereas other studies might only look at non-physical results, such as how quick a person can remember things or do a puzzle.
The study was conducted as part of the Rush Memory and Aging Project, which is a much larger study that is attempting to understand more about what can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease.