According to a study led by several American researchers from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, practicing an artistic activity on a regular basis stimulates cognitive faculties and locomotion. More precisely, 73% of the elderly who practice leisures like painting, drawing or sculpting are less likely to develop dementia.
According to a study published in the American Academy of Neurology, aged people who enjoy practicing leisure activities like drawing, painting or sculpting are less exposed to the risks of dementia. Moreover, it can stimulate not only the mind but locomotion abilities as well. It is similar to a non-medical therapy and much more efficient than using a computer or joining a reading club.
This study program lasted 4 years and was conducted on 256 people over 85 years old. Several activities were conducted: arts (painting, drawing or sculpting), crafts (woodworking, pottery, and ceramics), social activities (going to the theatre) or using the Internet.
One third of the participants have developed a mild cognitive impairment, which often leads to dementia. Nevertheless, the study’s results shows that:
- participants who practiced artistic activities reduced their risk of memory problems by 73%
- participants who crafted are 45% less likely to develop brain impairments
- participants keen on using the Internet reduced the risk of dementia of about 53%
Dr Rosebud Roberts of Mayo Clinic is the creator of the project. She said that “Our study supports the idea that engaging the mind may protect neurons, or the building blocks of the brain, from dying; it may stimulate the growth of new neurons, or may help recruiting new neurons to maintain cognitive activities in old age.”
Shocking data in Britain:
- 850,000 people are currently suffering from dementia, and the figure is expected to rise to one million by 2025.
- 1 out of 6 people aged 80 and over have dementia
- 60,000 deaths per year are directly attributable to dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society has calculated that delaying the onset of dementia by 5 years would reduce deaths entia by 30,000 a year.