Retire Later, Delay Alzheimer's: Study

Work keeps brain alert, cells connected
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 18, 2009 1:27 AM CDT
Dementia is caused by mass loss of cells in the brain.   (PRNewsFoto/CorTechs Labs, Inc.)
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(Newser) – It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but delaying retirement is one way to stave off Alzheimer's, a new study has found. Each extra year of work amounted to a six-week delay in the condition's development among patients studied. Alzheimer's is caused by brain cell loss, and the mental stimulation of work may help keep those cells connected, BBC reports.

The researchers admit that work isn't the only way to keep elderly minds sharp. An Alzheimer's specialist also warned that that other factors play an important role in developing Alzheimer's. "Men who retire early often do so because of health conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes, which increase your risk of dementia," she said.
(Read more Alzheimer's Disease stories.)