The importance of regular social engagement
October 28, 2020
A recent study from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health has found further evidence that social engagement can help keep the brain healthy.
Those involved in the study – where participants had an average age of 83 – gave information about their social engagement and scored highly if they took part in activities such as playing board games, getting together with friends, or volunteering.
Those who reported greater levels of social engagement had more robust grey matter – in other words, a healthier brain – in key regions of the brain relevant in dementia.
The researchers noted that maintaining brain health is of critical importance as once brain cells die, dementia typically follows.
Lead author, Cynthia Felix, said “we need to do more research on the details, but that’s the beauty of this – social engagement costs hardly anything, and we do not have to worry about side-effects”.
It was also acknowledged by the researchers that while the data collection occurred before COVID-19, the findings are particularly relevant now. Felix commented that “older adults should know it is important for their brain health that they still seek out social engagement in safe and balanced ways during the pandemic”.
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