Another Study Indicating that Work Lessens Alzheimer’s Risk

The study indicated that people who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.1 This has been a long running theme of the healthymemory blog (enter “retirement and dementia” in the search box to find relevant posts. This new study involved almost half a million people in France and was the largest study undertaken so far. As was stated in previous posts, working tends to keep people physically active, socially connected, and mentally challenged. These are all activities known to help prevent mental decline.

According to Carole Dufouil, a scientist at Inserm, the French government‘s healthy research agency who led the study and gave the results at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Boston, “For each additional year of work, the risk in getting dementia is reduced by 3.2 percent.” This is something that should be born in mind when considering retirement. A 2011 survey found that my fellow baby boomers were more afraid of losing their memory than death.2

Of course, if retirement activities keep you physically active, socially connected, and mentally challenged, the benefits of work could be pre-empted. Pursuing a second career, going back to college, or dedicating yourself to a hobby that fulfills the same beneficial activities, are other possibilities for consideration. It should also be remembered that a cure for Alzheimer’s or a vaccine to prevent Alzheimer’s do not appear to be coming over the horizon.

1Washington Post, 16 July 2013,A2. Study: Work lessens Alzheimer’s risk.

2Marx, P. (2013). Mentally Fit., The New Yorker, July 29, p.25

© Douglas Griffith and, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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