Arts can lower the risk of having dementia

A study has shown that painting, sketching, and sculpting in the olden times drops the probability of developing the first signs of dementia by 73%.

Being involved in art encourages the mind, and develops motor skills. This seemed to be more effective than socializing, reading books, or the use of a computer.

At the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, researchers surveyed 256 people who aged over 85 years old for four years. The volunteers informed their partaking in the arts, like painting, sketching and sculpting; crafts, like woodworking, pottery, quilting,  and stitching; social doings, like going to cinemas, socializing, and using the internet.

4 years later, more than one third had acquired mild cognitive impairment, which usually leads to dementia.

However, those who participated in the arts were 73% less likely to have undergone memory or thinking difficulties.

Those who crafted were 45% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, while socializing lowers the possibility by 55%, and those who uses the internet or computer regularly lowers it by 53%.

“As a huge number of older adults are getting to the age where they may experience memories and thinking difficulties called Mild Cognitive Impairment, it is essential we look to find routine changes that may prevent the illness.”, implied the study’s author, Dr Rosebud Roberts. “The research encourages the idea that occupying the mind may protect neurons – the building blocks of the brain – from dying, cause the development of new neurons, or may help engage with new neurons to preserve cognitive activities in old age.”

Approximately 850,000 people are experiencing dementia in Britain and the digits is predicted to rise to one million by 2025. One out of six people aged 80 and above have dementia.

In the UK, about 60,000 people die yearly because of dementia.

From Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dr. Laura Phipps said “ This study contributes to the previous evidence recommending that staying mentally active as we grow old help maintain our memory and thinking aptitude.”



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