Ties May Delay Your Memory Loss
ties with family and friends may delay the decline in your memory.
These are the conclusions reached by a new research study conducted by
Dr. Lisa F. Berkman from the Department of Society, Human Development,
and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and her
colleagues in a recent report in the American Journal of Public
Dr. Berkman stated "Our
results suggest that increasing social integration may be an important
component of efforts to protect older Americans from memory decline."
This study looked at the impact of social integration on changes in
memory over six years among 16,638 Americans aged 50 and older who
were enrolled in the Health and Retirement study. Research
looked at two different aspects of memory including immediate and
delayed recall of a list of 10 words, while social integration was
then assessed according to marital status, volunteer activity, and
frequency of contact with children, parents and neighbors.
that the average memory score declined from 11.0 in 1998 to 10.0 in
2004. Study participants who were found to be either high in
social integration or low in social integration were found to have
similar memory scores in 1998. These scores then changed over
the next six years. It was found that people who were defined as
being high in social integration in 1998 actually suffered lower rates
of memory decline over this six year period of time then their peers
who were found to be lower in sociability. Participants who were
defined as being among the least sociable, were found to decline at
twice the rate as those who were found to be more socially
Dr. Berkman and her colleagues went on to
say that "Being in the highest level of social integration ameliorated
more than half of the age-related decline in memory." These
findings are totally consistent with previous research which has found
that being socially engaged is associated with lower rates of
decline and to be at a lower risk of dementia.
Adapted from the
Reuters article Social Ties Delay Memory Loss In The Aged (May 29,
Additional Information and
webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate
Senior Care Psychological Consulting 2451 Executive Dr. Ste.
103 St. Charles, Missouri 63303 (636) 300-9922