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Arts, Computers, Socializing May Support Brain

People who engage in arts and crafts, use computers or have an active social life may stay mentally sharp longer as older adults, a new study suggests. The study included 256 adults, ages 85 or older. They had normal brain function when the study began. Researchers asked them about their activities, both current and earlier, during middle age. During the next 4 years, nearly half developed mild cognitive impairment. This is a problem with memory or thinking that can lead to dementia. Researchers adjusted their numbers to account for differences in sex and education. They found that people who were involved in artistic pursuits during midlife and later life were 73% less likely to develop brain problems than others. Those who did crafts, used computers or had an active social life had half the risk of brain problems of those who did not do these things.

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