A new study has found activities like gardening that can help you stay mentally active in middle age can reduce your risk of dementia.
For the study, 800 Swedish women were examined for a period of time. Participants were also given a questionnaire they had to fill out about their mental and physical activity. They had to score on five different areas based on how they participated in the activities. If they didn't participate at all they had to score zero. Moderate artistic activity, for example, was defined as attending a concert, while high artistic activity was defined as doing or attending an activity more frequently.
Researchers also took into account other factors that could contribute to dementia, like smoking, diabetes and blood pressure. Close to 194 women developed dementia during the study. 102 of them developed Alzheimer's disease and 27 developed vascular dementia. The study's results showed 46 percent of the women had high level of mental activities and were less likely to develop dementia.
Researchers say singing, attending religious services and crochet can also help decrease your risk of the condition."These results indicate that these activities in middle age may play a role in preventing dementia in old age and preserving cognitive health," Jenna Najar from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, told a news portal. Adding, "It's exciting as these are activities that people can incorporate into their lives pretty easily and without a lot of expense."