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Medical News & Perspectives
May 16, 2001

Aging Patients Are Advised "Stay Active to Stay Alert"

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JAMA. 2001;285(19):2437-2438. doi:10.1001/jama.285.19.2437-JMN0516-2-1

As Americans grow older, they want to stay smart. With so much media emphasis on the mental decrements inflicted by Alzheimer disease and other dementias, aging people may wonder how glowing the "golden years" will be. Here's the good news: although some mental capacity decline is associated with aging, for most people there are ways to reduce the effect.

A recent report from the Institute for the Study of Aging (ISOA) and the International Longevity Center–USA (ILC-USA), Achieving and Maintaining Cognitive Vitality with Aging, reiterates the idea that staying mentally and physically active are key factors in enhancing mental functioning and reducing the risk of mental impairment associated with aging.