Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Working longer delays Alzheimer's disease

LIFTING of the retirement age to 67 years might be unpopular, but research shows working it may help stave off Alzheimer's disease.
Scientists who studied 382 men with early indications of Alzheimer's found a significant link between later retirement age and delayed dementia symptoms. The research by the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College in London found working helped the mind and body remain active.

Working longer may not only exercise the brain but also save the public purse, as the ageing population and increase in incidence of conditions like dementia demand higher levels of funding for care and homes.

Head of research at the UK Alzheimer's Society Dr Susanne Sorensen said the report made sense.

"There could be a number of reasons why later retirement in men is linked with later onset of dementia," she said.

"Men who retire early often do so because of health conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes, which increase your risk of dementia.

"It could also be that working helps keep your mind and body active, which may reduce risk of dementia.

"The best way to reduce your risk of dementia is to combine keeping physically active with eating a balanced diet and getting your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.

"One million people will develop dementia in the next 10 years. Investing in research into how to prevent dementia is vital if we are to defeat this devastating condition."

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