Harvard Men's Health Watch

Late deposits in the "brain bank" may still help delay mental decline

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Keeping the brain busy and challenged helps preserve mental sharpness.

Men who live the most intellectually enriched lives may experience decline in mental skills significantly later than those who led less mentally enriching lives, according to a long-term aging study in JAMA Neurology. But even those who commit to a mentally active life later in the game may still benefit.

The study supports the "use it or lose it" theory, which says that engaging in stimulating brain work socks away more in your mental bank account to stave off later cognitive decline, a catchall term for memory loss, trouble concentrating, and erosion of other basic mental skills.

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