How sex can save you from memory loss in later years
People who are sexually active in their old age have better cognitive abilities than sexually inactive adults, finds study
Turns out, sexual activity and emotional closeness in later years of life do not control cognitive decline. According to a research conducted by Mark Allen of the University of Wollongong, though older people who enjoy a sexually active and emotionally close relationship with their partner tend to perform better at memory tests than sexually inactive older adults on a short-term basis, this is not the case over a longer period of time.
The study was conducted on more than 6000 adults aged 50 and over. Age-related cognitive decline varies considerably and can range from mild to severe — in the case of people living with dementia. Lifestyle factors, such as someone’s level of education, smoking and drinking habits, and level of physical activity have all been found to play a role in the rate and extent of the age-related cognitive decline.
This study showed that there is no link between sexual activity and rate of cognitive decline.
Participants in the ELSA completed an episodic memory task and a questionnaire where they reported the frequency of intimate activities such as kissing, sexual touching, and intercourse.
“Decline in memory performance over time was un- related to sexual activity or emotional closeness during partnered sexual activity”, said Allen. It stimulated the growth of neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is activated when episodic and spatial memory tasks are performed.