Get a mentally challenging job, reduce risk of loss of brain function and cognitive skills, says study

Dementia Mental illness memory problem alzheimers

Dementia can rob one’s quality of life.

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People with mentally stimulating jobs are less likely to suffer from cognitive decline and develop dementia as they grow old, a new study finds.

We have often heard the term dementia and also heard about Alzheimer’s Disease. You may have seen some old people unable to carry out basic jobs like eating, taking care of their toilet visits on their own etc. Many cannot recognise their own family members, look lost and often lose their way back home if they venture out on their own.

In most cases, these people have been afflicted with dementia. Dementia is a term used to describe a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with your daily life. It isn’t a specific disease, but several diseases can cause dementia. Though dementia generally involves memory loss, memory loss has different causes.
Harvard Health reports on ongoing research in the field and also some heartening news –
“Do you have a mentally stimulating job?” asks Harvard Health.
It might reduce your risk of dementia later in life, according to an analysis published on August 21, 2021, in The BMJ.
The BMJ report tells about how researchers combined data from multiple studies that examined how work factors related to chronic disease, disability, and death. The studies, from the United States and Europe, collected information from people about their jobs.

They found that people with cognitively stimulating jobs had a 23 per cent lower risk of developing dementia compared with those whose jobs were not considered stimulating.

Cognitively stimulating jobs were defined as those that allowed people to make decisions independently and required them to perform demanding tasks.

107,800 participants with an average age of 45 took part in this study. The study included participants from the US and Europe who were free of dementia at baseline (between 1986 and 2002). The follow-up to identify dementia lasted until 2017.

Researchers have found that people who have more mentally stimulating jobs have a significantly lower risk of developing dementia later in life. Cognitively stimulating “active” jobs include demanding tasks and high job decision latitude (also known as job control), while non-stimulating “passive” jobs are those with low demands and lack of job control. This finding has led them to conclude that such cognitive stimulation could postpone the onset of symptoms.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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