I’m A Cognitive Being, Get Me Out Of Here!


More is not necessarily better; take for example, cable or satellite TV.  While some will argue that we have more choice today than we did 30 years ago, I’m not so sure we have better choices.  Just like when sports leagues like Major League Baseball or the NFL expands into new cities, the result is that the quality of the talent is thinned out.  So, it was with a bit of serendipity, as I sat killing brain cells at an alarming rate while watching “I’m a Celebrity get me out of here” (shouldn’t Heidi and Spencer’s 15 min be up by now?) and “Jon and Kate Plus 8”  (I’m here for the kids) I came across two studies released today on cognitive function.    

The first report, done by the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center showed that the risk of death for people with mild cognitive impairment was 50% greater than the risk to individuals without cognitive impairment.  More shocking, the risk of death was “nearly three-fold greater among those with Alzheimer’s disease” and there was no difference between African Americans and whites. 

 The second study, authored by Alexandra Fiocco, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco and published in Neurology®, identified a specific profile showing that people who exercise moderately to vigorously at least once a week are 30 percent more likely to maintain their cognitive function than those who do not exercise that often.  In addition, individuals with at least a high school degree are almost three times more likely to maintain cognitive function than those with less education.  If you want to stay sharp, make sure you don’t (or stop) smoking as non-smokers are almost twice as likely to stay sharp as versus people who smoke.  Finally, make sure you work (or volunteer) and don’t live alone, as there is a 24 percent increase in the likelihood of maintaining cognitive function later life.

 So…if you want to stay sharp make sure you exercise, don’t smoke, graduate from high school, work, and live with someone.  Otherwise, you might end up sitting alone in a room, filled with cigarette butts watching Sanjaya videos because you cannot remember where you left the remote. 

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One Response

  1. I guess I should dust off my treadmill.

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