Keeping a full social calendar may help protect you from dementia, researchers said on Monday.
Socially active people who were not easily stressed had a 50 percent lower risk of developing dementia compared with men and women who were isolated and prone to distress, they reported in the journal Neurology.
"In the past, studies have shown that chronic distress can affect parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus, possibly leading to dementia," Hui-Xin Wang of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, who led the study, said in a statement.
"But our findings suggest that having a calm and outgoing personality in combination with a socially active lifestyle may decrease the risk of developing dementia even further." ~ Reuters, 19 Jan 2009
The socially-active among us are mostly happy people. I think the key factor in preventing or delaying the onset of dementia is not really being socially-active, but being happy.
Happiness does wonders to our brains. Scientists may debate on this, but I have a feeling they will soon realize that the solution is simple, and not too expensive.
Among my old patients (when I say "old," I mean those who are 70 years old and above), those who are happy, have the best clinical outcomes. Sure, they maybe diabetic, and have had episodes of stroke and heart attacks, but their conditions remain stable and unproblematic.
Happiness is the key.
Now, I know it's not as easy as it sounds for some people. But strive to be happy. It helps you and your doctor.