Alzheimer’s is a frustrating beast to tackle. When you’re diagnosed with it, there’s nearly nothing you can do to stop it. Your best efforts will only slow it down. Drugs may be in development, but right now doctors can only recommend staying as mentally active as you possibly can: keeping active is your only ally against the disease. Keeping active can slow the progression of the disease, but it can’t stop it.
While a new report in the journal Neurology by Dr. Keith Johnson from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and his colleagues reveal that mental stimulation does not significantly affect the signs of Alzheimer’s, such as of protein plaques, staying active can delay memory problems, along with other problems.
According to Dr. David Knopman, professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine “If two people had the same amount of Alzheimer’s pathology, and one had higher education and engaged in more cognitively stimulating activities, and one had lower educational attainment and didn’t participate in as many mentally stimulating activities, then the symptoms [of Alzheimer’s] would appear earlier in the person with less cognitively stimulating activity,” says Knopman.