Lifelong literary activity prevents cognitive decline

In a study of 300 individuals tested every year for nearly six years prior to death (at an average age of 89 years), the US researchers found those reporting a high level of mentally engaging activities such as reading books and writing letters, from an early age and maintained into old age, performed better on memory and cognitive tests.

On death, autopsies were conducted. The researchers were able to show high levels of mental stimulation were protective independent of brain plaques, tangles, infarcts and Lewy bodies.

Neurology 2013;