Publishing in the September issue of the, researchers from University of South Florida had reported in the latest edition of the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences that the more nature of mental exercise performed during working may have a role to play in reducing the risk of dementia in later life.
Scientists had examined the relationship between complexity of main lifetime occupation and risk for Alzheimer's disease and dementia in general. Researchers had discovered that people engaging in "complex work" had a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Recent research has focused on lifestyle issues - such as smoking, drinking, exercise and leisure activities - and the roles they may play in the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Occupation as an intellectual stimulus is yet another factor that needs consideration, particularly given the amount of time people spend at work. While occupational classification has been a previously studied variable, and occupations with low social status have been found to be a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer's disease, occupational complexity as a source of intellectual stimulation has not been looked at sufficiently.
Researchers had studied risk of dementia in cases and controls and in complete twin pairs using data from a Swedish Twin Registry, through which sets of twins were followed for more than 40 years and whose main occupations were recently recorded. Within the twin pairs, one twin was diagnosed with dementia and the co-twin was dementia-free. The sample included 10,079 members of a subset of the Swedish Twin Registry called the Study of Dementia in Swedish Twins (HARMONY).
The authors found that those who performed complex work with data or people had lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.