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

The Free Press Journal - - ETCETERA -

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.


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