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Does participation in intellectual activity reduce the risk of dementia in older adults? 

July 2018

Do you like playing mahjong, betting on horse racing, or reading books?

These activities may be casual hobbies, but a study led by Professor Linda Lam from the Department of Psychiatry shows that they may help prevent or delay the onset of dementia symptoms among the local Chinese older adults.

The study, published in the JAMA Psychiatry, followed over 15,000 older adults in Hong Kong for 6 years and found that those who engaged in more varieties of intellectual activities at baseline were at a lower risk of developing dementia in the subsequent years.

The findings suggest that active participation in intellectual activities, even in late life, may be useful in reducing the risk of dementia.

 

dementia allenlee

 

Media Coverage:

The SCMP
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2150039/playing-mahjong-and-betting-horse-racing-could-decrease 

 

The TIME Magazine
http://time.com/5295455/dementia-aging-brain-reading/ 

 

The JAMA Network
https://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/intellectual-activities-associated-with-lower-risk-of-dementia-in-older-adults-in-china/ 

 

The NEJM Journal Watch
https://www.jwatch.org/na46930/2018/06/18/your-intellect-use-it-or-lose-it 

 

JAMA Psychiatry Editorial Comment:
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2681167