Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bookworm Benefits for the Brain in Old Age

Recently, on Facebook, a friend of mine shared an article about how being a bookworm can boost brain function in old age. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article, "Being a Lifelong Bookworm May Keep You Sharp in Old Age."  The author of this article, Marina Koren basically summarizes the findings from a brain study, published in Neurology. I suggest you read her post as it is only a page long (and reading is good for you!) and I'm only going to share a few tidbits*.
  • "In particular, people who participated in mentally stimulating activities over their lifetimes, both in young, middle and old age, had a slower rate of decline in memory and other mental capacities than those who did not."  -- Makes sense! Use it.... or (say it with me) lose it!
  • "Those who didn't read or write often later in life did even worse: their memory decline was 48 percent faster than people who spent an average amount of time on these activities." -- This is a profound finding. Wow. 
  • "Reading gives our brains a workout because comprehending text requires more mental energy than, for example, processing an image on a television." -- I want to post this everywhere in addition to the above quotes from this article. How many hours do you, me, children in this country spend in front of a TV? We have got to get our brains churnin' and burnin'! Reading and writing are the gym for our brain. Both develop our memory and stimulate it in critical ways. From what I gather from the article, reading is like running and writing is like lifting weights/doing weight bearing exercises.
  • Koren ends her post with a finding from a 2009 brain research study and leaves us with this scary finding: "By 27, mental processes like reasoning, spatial visualization and speed of thought begin to decline." -- So.... who fell off their chair with this? Our brains going downhill at 27?! I'm just about 26.5 years old. Yikes!
So I think the evidence is clear, folks. I know this is one study but it has some excellent points: READ and WRITE often! Do it for your brain now and when you are older!!!

Think I'll go pick up my book now :)

*bold words and emphasis was added by me for fun effects

1 comment:

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