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People who maintain high levels of intellectual stimulation throughout life may delay the onset of cognitive impairment by more than 8 years, according to a population-based study of 1718 cognitively normal individuals and 277 individuals with mild cognitive impairment aged 70 to 89 years (Vemuri P et al. JAMA Neurol. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.963 [published online June 23, 2014]). The study examined the protective effect of 2 components of lifetime intellectual enrichment: occupation and number of years of education, and engagement in cognitively stimulating activities (such as reading, crafts, social activities, and games) in mid- to late life.
Slomski A. Lifetime Intellectual Enrichment Delays Cognitive Impairment. JAMA. 2014;312(8):778. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.10043