25 May 2009

Does working keep dementia at bay?

Delaying retirement could prevent early dementia, say scientists
Guardian: 18 May 2009
Working beyond normal retirement age might help stave off dementia, scientists said today.

Keeping the brain active later in life appears to reduce the chances of an early onset of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study of 382 men with probable dementia. The researchers suggest a significant link between later retirement and delayed symptoms.

The findings emerged from a wider study on data from 1,320 people with dementia led by members of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, London, and funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust and the Medical Research Council … > full story : review by NHS Knowledge Services

NHS Knowledge Services comments: “Unfortunately, the study has several limitations, which mean that it is not possible to conclude on the strength of this study alone that retiring later in life or staying mentally active delays the onset of dementia. Although it is appealing to think that mental stimulation delays the onset of dementia, the evidence so far is not conclusive. Healthy lifestyle choices regarding diet, nutrition, exercise, and intellectual and social activity deserve to be encouraged as they are helpful for a number of reasons. Further research is needed on this subject, preferably also including women and following people from before retirement onwards.”

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