Are you a guy worried about developing Alzheimer’s disease as you get older? There are lots of things you can do to help reduce your risk. Plenty of exercise, a healthy diet rich in foods like fresh vegetables and fatty fish and an active social life can keep your mind healthy as you age. But here’s some interesting news: your choice of a spouse can also have an affect on whether or not you experience cognitive problems like memory loss.
Professor Discusses Importance of Intelligent Wives
Dr. Lawrence Whalley is a professor emeritus at the University of Aberdeen and is considered to be one of the world’s experts on the aging of the brain. He is also the author of the book Understanding Brain Aging and Dementia and recently gave a talk at the Oxford Literary Festival.
It was here that he discussed the research that has found a link between men who marry intelligent women and the staving off of Alzheimer’s disease. Apparently, the intellectual stimulation that an intelligent women provides her spouse – such as good conversation and stimulating activities – helps the brain to avoid the loss of memory and other cognitive skills that go along with the disease process.
While Dr. Whalley has pioneered studies to link the reduction of Alzheimer’s risk with the intelligence of a patient’s partner, the idea of intellectual stimulation staving off cognitive decline is not a new one. It is, rather, part of an important, growing body of evidence which suggests that a vigorous intellectual life can, in fact, act as a buffer between Alzheimer’s disease and the brain. For instance:
- A Chinese study conducted throughout Western Asian found that Asian adults who lived in intellectually stimulating environments generally faired better than who did not have this stimulation; the men in stimulating environments were more likely to fair better on a number of important tests to measure mental function.
- Another study found a link between high education levels and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers speculated that this was because of the intellectual stimulation that a good education can provide.
In short, while there, of course, many reasons guys out there should choose your wives carefully, this is probably one of the best. The intellectual stimulation that a good spouse can provide can not only add entertainment but the intellectual stimulation needed by the brain to ward off disease and cognitive decline that can help first and keep one’s mind sharp well into old age.
Featured photo credit: Adriana Velásquez via unsplash.com