Researchers in the United Kingdom studied cognitive stimulation. They found consistent evidence from multiple trials showed cognitive stimulation programs, 45 minutes 5 times a week for a total of 225 minutes, benefited cognition in people with mild to moderate dementia over and above any medication effects. [Others have suggested 30 minutes of challenging mental exercise a day as a possible prevention strategy.] (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/international-cognitive-stimulation-therapy/publications/pdfs/woods-aguirre-spector-orrell-2011)

Researchers at UC Berkeley found a significant association between higher levels of cognitive activity over a lifetime and lower levels of beta-amyloid, a destructive protein that is the hallmark of Alzheimer's. PET Scans showed that people with no symptoms of Alzheimer’s, who had engaged in cognitively stimulating activities throughout their lives, had fewer deposits of beta-amyloid. While previous research has suggested that engaging in mentally stimulating activities (e.g., reading, writing, and playing games) may help stave off Alzheimer’s later in life, this study identifies the biological target: decreasing the levels of beta-amyloid. (http://news.berkeley.edu/2012/01/23/engaged-brain-amyloid-alzheimers/)

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