Can social interaction predict cognitive decline?

By Tim Newman: For More Info, Go Here…

A recent study concludes that social interaction might be more than just a pleasant pastime; it might help doctors predict an individual’s risk of cognitive decline and, perhaps, dementia.

A group of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, are interested in the potential role that social interaction might play.

Specifically, their most recent study looked at whether there is an interaction between levels of social activity, cognitive performance, and the amount of beta-amyloid in the brain, which is a neurological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

A complex picture emerges

Overall, the authors found no relationship between social interaction and cognitive decline. However, when they delved into the beta-amyloid data, a pattern formed.

The researchers found that the influence of social activity was significant in individuals who had the highest levels of beta-amyloid in their brains. In this group, those with the lowest levels of social interaction showed higher levels of cognitive decline than individuals with similar levels of beta-amyloid but greater levels of social activity.

They also found that individuals who had lower cognitive abilities at the start of the study were more likely to become less socially engaged over the 3 years.

 

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