More sex ‘bet­ter than a cross­word’ for el­derly brains

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

OLDER peo­ple look­ing to boost their brain power have long been told to eat their greens or do a cryp­tic cross­word.

But there may now be a more in­ter­est­ing – and plea­sur­able – way to im­prove brain func­tion – hav­ing sex more of­ten.

Those who kept their love life go­ing into their twi­light years were found to have im­proved flu­ency and spa­tial skills, which could make ev­ery­day life eas­ier in older age, a study by Ox­ford and Coven­try uni­ver­si­ties found.

Sex is be­lieved to re­lease the “happy hor­mone” dopamine into the brain, help­ing with com­plex men­tal tasks.

Lead au­thor Dr Hay­ley Wright said: “This study shows that more sex at an older age is linked with bet­ter brain power, sug­gest­ing it could po­ten­tially help to keep the brain a bit sharper as we age.”

Re­searchers at Coven­try Univer­sity pre­vi­ously found that hav­ing sex im­proved older peo­ple’s mem­ory – but did not look at how of­ten par­tic­i­pants had sex.

The up­dated study, pub­lished in the Jour­nals of Geron­tol­ogy Se­ries B, asked 73 peo­ple aged be­tween 50 and 83 how of­ten they had sex in the pre­vi­ous 12 months – never, monthly or weekly.

In tests of their brain power, those who had sex weekly scored 2% higher than those who had sex every month.

And their cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties were 4% bet­ter than those who had been celi­bate for the past year.

Mean­while, an olive oil­rich diet may pro­tect against de­men­tia, a US study found. Tem­ple Univer­sity tests on mice showed it helped keep signs of Alzheimer’s at bay. – Daily Mail

POWER OF LOVE. The hands of an old man at­tend­ing a meet­ing on plans for his com­mu­nity. The el­derly may be sur­prised at some of the new cures for de­men­tia.

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