Later-in-Life Education May Help Keep Dementia at Bay

Research is showing that senior adult education classes can help keep your brain healthy and reduce your risk of cognitive decline. Taking even a single class at a local college, for instance, can benefit your brain — both by learning and by warding off the demon known as dementia. According to the University of Cambridge, each additional year of education may result in an 11% decrease in the risk of developing dementia. Another study found that people who have gone beyond high school are more likely to stay mentally sharp as they age. One reason may be that people with more education generally have careers that provide constant mental stimulation. Experts also believe that education can help build up the brain’s “cognitive reserve,” which makes it better able to withstand the effects of aging and disease. This education can take various forms, such as community college courses or online seminars or local workshops. Such activities can also help you stay socially engaged. And finally, adult education can lower the likelihood of anxiety and depression. The best advice says to look for educational subjects that interest you and match your skill level. But be sure it also mentally challenges you.

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