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Good listeners may protect you against cognitive decline

Researchers have found a link between having someone you can count on to listen to you when you need to talk and improved cognitive resilience.

(New York University/ Futurity) — Supportive social interactions in adulthood are important for your ability to stave off cognitive decline despite brain aging or neuropathological changes such as those in Alzheimer’s disease, the new study finds.

Cognitive resilience is a measure of your brain’s ability to function better than would be expected for the amount of physical aging—or disease-related changes in the brain, which many neurologists believe can be boosted by engaging in mentally stimulating activities, physical exercise, and positive social interactions.

The findings appear in JAMA Network Open.

“We think of cognitive resilience as a buffer to the effects of brain aging and disease,” says lead researcher Joel Salinas, assistant professor of neurology at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine and a member of the neurology department’s Center for Cognitive Neurology. (…)

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