Improve Your Memory by Making Memories with Friends
Happiness is the Best Medicine
Turns out making memories with friends isn’t just a valuable source of happiness. A recent study indicates that maintaining a healthy social network could also be one way to maintain cognitive health.
The study from Northwestern University explored the cognitive abilities of adults 80 and older who experience the cognitive health of adults in their 50s or 60s. These tests found these individuals enjoyed more satisfying personal relationships than those of “lesser to average” cognitive abilities within the control group.
“You don’t have to be the life of the party, but this study supports the theory that maintaining strong social networks seems to be linked to slower cognitive decline,” says Northwestern associate professor and the study’s senior author, Emily Rogalski.
An Exploration of Exceptional Memories
The study’s participants completed an extensive questionnaire about their health and psychological well-being. Participants with above average cognitive health scored noticeably higher in areas involving their positive relationships than those without. Though Rogalski and her team maintain that a lively social life isn’t a definitive deterrent to Alzheimer’s disease.
“But if there is a list of healthy choices one can make, such as eating a certain diet and not smoking, maintaining strong social networks may be an important one on that list,” according to Rogalski. “None of these things by themselves guarantees you don’t get the disease, but they may still have health benefits.” This study validates previous beliefs that close personal relationships can help prevent cognitive decline.
Learn more about this study and the impact of friendship on the health of older adults in this article from AARP. To learn more about Parc Provence, the St. Louis region’s leaders in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease care, or schedule a tour, contact us today at (314) 542-2500.