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    Brain Exercises and Dementia

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    How does brain activity help?

    Studies of animals show that keeping the mind active may:

    • Reduce the amount of brain cell damage that happens with Alzheimer's
    • Support the growth of new nerve cells
    • Prompt nerve cells to send messages to each other

    When you keep your brain active with exercises or other tasks, you may help build up a reserve supply of brain cells and links between them. You might even grow new brain cells. This may be one reason scientists have seen a link between Alzheimer's and lower levels of education. Experts think the extra mental activity from education may protect the brain by strengthening connections between its cells.

    Neither education nor brain exercises are a sure way to prevent Alzheimer's. But they may help delay symptoms and keep the mind working better for longer.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on June 17, 2016
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