Illiteracy linked to dementia
PEOPLE who struggle to read or write are up to three times more likely to develop dementia, a study suggests.
Researchers found those who are literate can do activities that keep the brain healthy for longer.
These include reading newspapers, completing crosswords and helping kids with homework.
Study leader Dr Jennifer Manly said: “We also found literacy was linked to higher scores on memory and thinking tests.
“These results suggest reading may help strengthen the brain in many ways that may help prevent or delay dementia.
“Even if they only have a few years of education, people who learn to read and write may have lifelong advantages.”
For four years Columbia University in the US tested 983 people with an average age of 77 who spent only a few years at school.
Uneducated adults were three times more likely to have dementia at the start of the trial. And they were twice as likely to develop it.
Dr Sara Imarisio, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “It suggests education could boost cognitive reserve, a type of resilience that allows our brains to resist damage for longer as we get older.” The Sun
Reading or doing crosswords can strengthen your brain.