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Invited Commentary
July 2018

Brain Exercise and Brain Outcomes: Does Cognitive Activity Really Work to Maintain Your Brain?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(7):703-704. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.0656

A wide variety of cohort studies, conducted primarily in Europe and North America, have reported that cognitive activity reduces the risk of dementia, Alzheimer disease, or cognitive decline.1,2 In this issue of JAMA Psychiatry, Lee et al3 report a similar finding in a different population: 15 582 older adult residents of Hong Kong who were dementia-free at baseline and followed up for a median of 5 years. The study is carefully done, with systematic evaluation of cognitive activity, careful baseline and follow-up cognitive assessments, collection of data on a wide variety of potential confounding factors, and efforts to limit loss to follow-up and missing data.

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