Arts, crafts and friends promote healthy brain aging

When was the last time you got together with your friends to do some arts and crafts? If it was making hand turkeys in elementary school, you might want to take it up again as you get older. A recent study published in the journal Neurology showed that people over 85 who engaged in artistic, crafting and social activities were at a lower risk of developing cognitive impairments.

The study, conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, involved researchers following 256 healthy people between the ages of 85 and 89 for four years. By the end of the study period, about half of the participants had developed mild dementia. When they examined the relationship between artistic and social pursuits and brain health, the results were striking. The participants who engaged in "significant social activity" throughout the four years were only about half as likely as those who didn't to develop dementia. Those who took part in craft projects were 45 percent less likely to experience cognitive decline, and those who participated in the arts lowered their risk by a whopping 73 percent. 

The researchers emphasized that they couldn't be sure whether these activities actually caused the participants' brains to stay sharp or whether people with fewer cognitive difficulties were more likely to engage in these activities.

According to Dr. Vernon Williams of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, "We should look at this as another example of the importance of promoting neurologic health across the life span. It's not all doom and gloom. Optimistic and positive outcomes can be used to encourage and promote positive behavioral changes at every stage of life."

For more information on anti aging medicine, contact the Longevity Centres of America today.