behavior · brain · mental health · neuroscience · play · psychology

Playing leads to lower Alzheimer’s risk

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzhei...
Brain with Alzheimer's. Image via Wikipedia

From USA Today:

People who engage in activities such as reading and playing games throughout their lives may be lowering levels of a protein in their brains that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.

Although whether the buildup of the protein, beta amyloid, causes Alzheimer’s disease is debatable, it is a hallmark of the condition, the researchers noted.

“Staying cognitively active over the lifetime may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by preventing the accumulation of Alzheimer’s-related pathology,” said study author Susan Landau, a research scientist at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Some of the literature has hypothesized this finding, but this is the first study to report that lifetime cognitive activity is directly linked to amyloid deposition in the brain,” she said. “We think that cognitive activity is probably one of a variety of lifestyle practices — occupational, recreational and social activities — that may be important.”

Read more at Keeping brain sharp, active may ward off Alzheimer’s

There have been several different studies that find the correlation between play and a healthy brain less susceptible to dementia, disease, and overall decay. Literally use it or lose it. So you might as well have fun using it!