Reading, socialising, the arts and sport all reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.
High education and career attainment has already been associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. Now it seems that leisure activities, too, protect against cognitive decline as we age.
Researchers at Cleavland University, have been studying 1,000 people aged 60 or older, free of dementia at the start. They asked the participants about their intellectual, social and sporting pursuits and then recorded who developed dementia over the next seven years.
Those with a high degree of leisure activity were 20 per cent less likely to develop dementia. There was an additional eight per cent risk reduction for each leisure activity reported. Intellectual activity - reading, learning a language, taking classes - were linked to the biggest risk reduction, but socialising and sport were good too.