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Keep company and your wits about you: isolation’s dementia risk

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Keep company and your wits about you: isolation’s dementia risk

The findings flag the importance of strengthening social networks on the way to retirement

Senior features writer

Social isolation among older adults may shrink regions of the brain associated with learning and thinking and raise the risk of dementia, shows a study among nearly half a million people in the UK, by Chinese and British scientists (https://n.neurology.org/content/early/2022/06/08/WNL.0000000000200583).

Living with limited human interaction increased the threat of dementia by 26% among adults with an average age of 57, they found in research conducted over about 12 years before the pandemic. The increased risk was unrelated to reported loneliness or depression.

These findings flag the importance of people strengthening social networks as they head towards retirement. People’s need to be social is important not only to the brain but also to longevity...

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