The dangers of retirement

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Did you know …That retirement represents a secret danger, especially for your brain?

The postponement of retirement has obvious benefits for your budget, but according to a recent study, it may be even more beneficial for the health of your brain by protecting it from Alzheimer's disease. Researchers from the government health research agency of France, called National Institute of Health and Medical Health (INSERM) Each additional year of work decreases your risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia by 3.2 percent..

Better yet, a 5-year difference in retirement age translated into a significant decrease in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's. These interesting results were reported by the researcher Carole Dufouil, Ph.D. at the International Conference of the Alzheimer's Association in 2013.

Dufouil and a research team reviewed the records of more than 400,000 retirees, mainly those who had previously worked on their own, to assess the link between dementia and retirement. To eliminate the possibility that some subjects had actually withdrawn due to emerging cognitive problems, the researchers excluded data from those who developed dementia within 5 or 10 years of having withdrawn.

This innovative French study found that people who retired at age 60 were 14.6 percent more likely to develop dementia than people who retired at age 65. "We were not surprised by the results," said Dufouil, "but we were surprised by the strength of the results."

Use it or lose it

The French study is remarkable, but a handful of previous studies have supported this same theory. In 2009, researchers from Cardiff University and the Institute of Psychiatry at King & # 39; s College examined the cases of 382 British patients with male dementia and determined that each year men who had worked over 65 years delayed the appearance of Dementia symptoms in almost 6 weeks.

Continue working, said Dufouil, giving access to important protection factors such as …

Mental challenges
Social connections
Physical activity

"We know That people who participate in mentally stimulating activities. how to read, play cards, do crosswords, learn a new language or take courses on topics that interest them have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease"Dr. Andrew Weil commented," so it makes sense that people who continue to work beyond the normal retirement age also run a lower risk. "

What is your insurance policy for your brain?

While the connection between retirement and dementia is undeniable, Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer's Association, said that delaying retirement is not the only way to avoid cognitive decline.

"[The INSERM] the study adds to the body of work that says doing things to keep your brain active can be beneficial in reducing the risks of dementia. "Employment is not the only way to achieve it, what is crucial is that you stay active cognitively and socially. "My parents are retired, but they are busier than ever," he said. "They are taking classes at their local university."

This is in line with the research mentioned by Dr. Weil that shows a correlation between years of formal education and brain health. "The theory is that Intellectually challenging activity creates rich neural connections. that works as an insurance against the subsequent loss of brain tissue, "Weil said.

Then, when you say goodbye to your job from 9 to 5, be sure to fill your free time with intellectually stimulating activities. Experts recommend options such as volunteering … writing a book or memories … or embracing a hobby that requires you to learn a new set of skills.

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