Intellectual engagement and cognitive ability in later life (the “use it or lose it” conjecture): longitudinal, prospective study

BMJ 2018;363:k4925

This longitudinal, prospective, observational study aims to examine the association between intellectual engagement and cognitive ability in later life, and determine whether the maintenance of intellectual engagement will offset age related cognitive decline.  The study concludes that self reported engagement is not associated with the trajectory of cognitive decline in late life, but is associated with the acquisition of ability during the life course. Overall, findings suggest that high performing adults engage and those that engage more being protected from relative decline.

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