Il­lit­er­acy linked to de­men­tia

The Western Star - - News -

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.

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