A new study released in Chicago today.
1) Being more mentally active and having a high score for mental activity do help delay the onset of Alzheimers. This is a kind of cognitive reserve.
2) Once these mentally engaged people do start to show decline the decline is faster than that experienced by people with fewer cognitive reserves.
Staying active mentally can compress the experience of living with dementia. The onset comes later but the decline proceeds faster. Doctors call this the “compression of morbidity” and we generally think of this as a good thing.
Take home message: Staying mentally (and physically) active will delay but not prevent dementia.