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Helping Others Helps Your Brain

A recent study was performed on adults 60 years of age and older in an effort to see if age related declines in brain function could be slowed or even reversed via social service work. The participants were entered in an Experience Corps (EC) program in three elementary schools.  The volunteers were trained and spent 15 h/wk for 6 months during the academic year to assist teachers in kindergarten through third grade to promote children’s literacy and academic achievement. The study participants, along with a control group, were studied via fMRI scans and cognitive testing at the beginning and end of the 6 month period. The results of the study suggest that;

socially engaging cognitive activities in midlife and early late-life may reduce risk for AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) and dementia decades later.

Many studies have shown that being both mentally and socially engaged later in life is important to maintaining our brain fitness. What’s wonderful about the Experience Corps program is that it combines the two.

According the the Experience Corps website:

“Giving back to your community may slow the aging process in ways that lead to a higher quality of life in older adults.”

Experience Corps is a program that engages people over 55 to help meet the needs of their community, while helping themselves. They program is currently offered in 22 cities across the United States. It’s a triple win in that it helps the students, the schools and the older adults who participate.

If you or someone else you know is over 55 years of age and looking for a way to give back to the community, why not check out Experience Corps.

Resources:

Evidence for Neurocognitive Plasticity in At-Risk Older Adults

Experiencecorps.org

Clues To Maintaining Brain Fitness Into Old Age

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Tagged as: alzheimers, brain fitness, dementia, experience corps, plasticity
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17 thoughts on “Helping Others Helps Your Brain”

  1. That’s a very good study! I would be curious to see how much more they would have improved their brain fitness if they had to spend more than 15h/week. If they saw improvements at 15h/week it would be nice to see how much more they would have improved at a 40h/week rate…

  2. Thats so true, we`ve a fitness studio and also tell the people that body fitness isn`t everything. The people have to teach their mind.

    Best regards and big thumbs up for this blog

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  4. From a very young age, your brain actually learns by association to interpret sound reflected off your pinnae (the outer folds of your ears) as having a particular directionality.

  5. This blog is showing how can u improve your brain ability in diff rent condition.Now a days online games is provide to child to grow up his brain ability in manner.

  6. This is very true. It does not even relate to the over 60’s we hear to much about younger people want to earn and retire by the time they are 45 yet do not last much longer after that. Brain activity is just as important as physical activity. Draw back on one and reap the consequences.

    I am also reminded of a study done about career forces people especially those who retired at 55. The forces was their whole life. After retirement it was found that many did did not survive much longer than 5 years after due to not having any other things to think about or do. They just could not relate to anything outside their forces career.

  7. I totally agree with that, even if the person is older and still busy with activities the ageing will affect him very less. The reason is the ageing mainly affects one person when he/she is too much bothered about it and if the person is busy he will never get time for worrying about such silly things.

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