Recent Blog Articles

Mind & Mood

Caring for the grandkids could improve your brainpower

June 13, 2014

Want to get a little mental boost? Spend some quality time with the grandchildren—but not too much time. A new study from Australia finds that hanging out with the little ones once a week is good for your mental acuity. The study, published April 9, 2014, in the journal Menopause, included 186 women, ages 57 to 68.

The women took three different tests of memory and mental processing speed. Those who watched their grandkids one day a week performed highest on two out of the three tests. However, women in the study who watched their grandkids five days a week or more actually scored worse on tests of mental function. "We know that older women who are socially engaged have better cognitive function and a lower risk of developing dementia later, but too much of a good thing just might be bad," Dr. Margery Gass, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a statement.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.