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CU Medicine

CUHK study finds cognitive activities benefit older adults' brain health

It also decreases the risk of dementia in older people.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s (CUHK) Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine) revealed that cognitive activity participation can have positive neuromodulatory effects in older adults.

According to the Hong Kong Mental Morbidity Survey for Older People, 20% of the "young-old" (60-74 years) and 35% of the "old-old" (75 years and above) population have mild cognitive impairment.

In addition, 1onen 10 Hong Kong adults aged 70 and above are living with dementia.

To address this concern, CU Medicine conducted a trial to study the effect of increased cognitive activity on the default mode network (DMN) in older adults experiencing subjective cognitive decline despite engaging in regular cognitive activity.

The DMN, a network of brain regions, becomes active during rest and links abnormal activity to Alzheimer’s disease, a major form of dementia.

Based on CU Medicine’s findings, people with subjective cognitive decline are at a higher risk of progression to mild cognitive impairment and dementia despite having normal performance on cognitive assessments and having no functional impairment.

In light of this, CU Medicine researchers advocate increased participation in cognitive activities amongst older people as a lifestyle intervention to mitigate dementia risk.

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