Does Web Surfing Ward Off Dementia?

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

If you read many of the recent headlines you might think so. A closer look at the study producing those headlines suggests that some of them are probably worded a bit more strongly than the research can support.

The good news is that this study provides further confirmation that ongoing intellectual stimulation is usually correlated with lower prevalence of dementia. We have seen this in many studies and there can be little doubt that using your brain creatively, to solve problems, to socialize, and to learn new information or skills is generally beneficial to cognitive health.

An important message that is sometimes lost amid the rush to identify those games and activities that provide the most effective work-out for the brain, is that many simpler and more natural human activities also provide a healthy cognitive challenge. One activity that requires a broad range of cognitive skills is making and maintaining personal relationships.

The key take away is this: Don't underestimate the importance of social activity as you seek new ways to exercise your brain. Perhaps joining a club or volunteering could bring you a natural and rewarding approach to the sought after cognitive benefits.

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