Mayo Clinic Scientists Say Buff Up Your Brain Muscle With These Activities

Mayo Clinic Scientists Say Buff Up Your Brain Muscle With These Activities

Major new research from the Scottsdale Branch of The Mayo Clinic finds that the more brain-building activities one engages in, the less the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) – which frequently precedes dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The research team in Scottsdale, with Janina Krell-Roesch, MD, Yonas E. Geda, MD, MSc, and others recruited and studied 2,000 residents of their community, with an age of 70 or more for over five years. Participants reported the frequency of certain activities in midlife. They were then tracked for the next five-year period. Specifically, there were five groups the research team was interested in:

  1. Crafts
  2. Reading
  3. Using a computer
  4. Social activities
  5. Playing games

The research was sponsored by a Who’s Who of aging philanthropy and government agencies including the National Institute of Health, the National Institute on Aging, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Mayo Clinic Foundation and many more. They found that participating in those activities did indeed reduce the risk of incurring MCI. Specifically: Computer users reduced their risk by 30%; those involved in social activities by 20%, game players by 20% and crafters by 42%. Furthermore, more activities gave more resistance: two activities reduced risk by 28%, three activities by 45%; and four activities by 56%. For some unexplained reason, five activities, at 43%, wasn’t as good as four.

We’ve reported before that learning to do something new that requires concentration and fine motor skills is one of the best ways to grow new brain connections. Craft activities such as knitting, wood carving, sculpting, painting, macramé’, basket-weaving, and quilting, are confirmed in this research as excellent brain-builders.

Link to the research here.

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