With millions of new cases of Alzheimer’s disease occurring every year, and no cure to be found. Researchers are determined to discover what causes this brain condition, and which kind of behavior help preventing it.
A study that began in 2000 led by researchers from the University of Wisconsin’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, tracked 284 people and found a potential link between Alzheimer’s and the types of jobs they held throughout their lives.
Intellectually stimulating jobs, especially those involving complex interactions with people, were found to help safeguard your brain from the dangers of Alzheimer’s disease.
A study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association’s most recent international conference by Matthew Parrott exclaims that some of the jobs found to help preserve healthy brain function are: Manager, teacher, lawyer, social worker, engineer, physicist, physician, dentist, and pharmacist.
He explains that people who have either more complex careers or busy social lives may be more resistant to Alzheimer’s disease. If your job requires complex social interactions, the type of job that’s brain- challenging, especially ones focused on people, as opposed to working on your own analyzing data, may help prevent age- related dementia.
To demonstrate, people are just more complex than data or things, human interactions require much more brain power than working with data on a computer or working with machinery.
“Interactions with people and working with people is something that happens in real time and requires a lot of brain power,”
said study senior author Ozioma Okonkwo, an assistant professor and principal investigator at UW’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
“With the brain, you use it or you lose it,” Okonkwo continued. “The brain is like a muscle. The more you use it, the more it develops, and the more it develops the more it is able to withstand insults and injuries.”
Therefore, what is important here is not the exact job you have, but the skills you implement in this job.
To conclude, people whose careers involved working with other people, rather than with “data or things” are found to be able to maintain their cognitive functions.
It’s highly important to keep our brains active to improve memory and thinking as we age, whether this is through having a complex job or hobbies and pastimes that challenge the brain and keep you connected to friends and family
Written by: Jenan Sarhan