Bookworms of the World Unite! Brain Maintenance Guaranteed

I've always loved books.  Maybe that's why I'm a writer.  But I couldn't wait to get home from anywhere out and dive back into my book.

Now studies are showing that bookworms may hold on to their memories longer than those who don't read a lot or write or "participate in brain-stimulating activities," according to

“Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as these across a person’s lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age,” the Web site quotes study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

With so many Baby Boomers inching up into their 70's, of course, there's a massive interest in brain maintenance.  Whether it's exercise (which has also recently been touted as a way to stay mentally fit), or doing crossword puzzles (though exercise beats this, too), retaining memory is replacing liposuction and Botox as the next most important thing to do.

I can certainly attest to this.  I depend on my 12-year-old son to remind me what I went into the kitchen for. Even scarier, I sometimes have to search for simple words like "fork," and a couple of times, have even said "lemon" when I meant "listen."

In the study, which measured memory and thinking every year for about six years until participants' death at about age 89, those who had "frequent mental activity" in late life saw the rate of their brains' decline about 32% less than counterparts who did not keep up. And those who had "infrequent activity" saw a 48% decline over people who had average mental activity.

“Based on this, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves and our parents or grandparents,” quoted Wilson.



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