Hobbies and Delay of Memory — Woodwork Crochet Reading TV Computer Games Quilting Counted Cross Stitch Knitting Beading Art Collecting

Be careful with this one and please do not LAUGH

Standing guard at a NATO installation in South Korea, I saluted salutesalvarmyofficers from all around the world. But one officer, dressed in a regal-looking black uniform, always seemed embarrassed by it. One day as I was putting right hand to forehead, he stopped me.

“You really don’t have to salute me,” he said. “I’m in the Salvation Army.”

Stanley Pierkowski

Yesterday was one of those discouraging days. Not only did I feel foggy, but I had difficulty coping with the body, hand and neck tremors. The Dr. told me to lie? lay? down whenever I get tremulous. But it sure didn’t work yesterday. They wear me down and I get fatigued. It was a very frustrating day. I’m beginning to have more empathy to others with chronic tremors. I know it’s part of LBD, but part of me wants to get tested again to see if I have an an underlying thyroid problem. Maybe I’m just grasping at straws.

Speaking of tremors and the article below, it is interesting. I’ve done crafts all of my life. If it’s true, then I shouldn’t be having any problems. I’m working on a project now that involves counting in multiples of 12. I can’t believe I’m actually having trouble counting at this level. Appalling, just appalling.

Why hobbies such as knitting may delay memory loss

Engaging in a hobby like reading a book, making a patchwork quilt or even playing computer games can delay the onset of dementia, a US study suggests. Watching TV however does not count – and indeed spending significant periods of time in front of the box may speed up memory loss, researchers found.

Nearly 200 people aged 70 to 89 with mild memory problems were compared with a group who had no impairment.

The findings are to be presented to an American Academy of Neurology meeting. The researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota asked the volunteers about their daily activities within the past year and how mentally active they had been between the age of 50 to 65.

Those who had during middle age been busy reading, playing games or engaging in craft hobbies like patchworking or knitting were found to have a 40% reduced risk of memory impairment. In later life, those same activities reduced the risk by between 30 and 50%. Those who watched TV for less than 7 hours a day were also 50% less likely to develop memory loss than those who spent longer than that staring at the screen.

This study is exciting because it demonstrates that ageing does not need to be a passive process, said study author and neuroscientist Dr Yonas Geda.

By simply engaging in cognitive exercise, you can protect against future memory loss. Of course, the challenge with this type of research is that we are relying on past memories of the participants, therefore we need to confirm these findings with additional research.

Sarah Day, head of public health at the Alzheimer’s Society said: One million people will develop dementia in the next 10 years so there is a desperate need to find ways to prevent dementia. Exercising and challenging your brain – by learning new skills, doing puzzles such as crosswords, and even learning a new language – can be fun.

However, more research, where people are followed up over time, is needed to understand whether these sorts of activities can reduce the risk of dementia.

The poll on brain games will close on March 8th. If you haven’t voted yet, click here.


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7 Responses

  1. Keep on knitting!!!

    Why should the brain be different from any other part of the body? I was lucky enough to attend Stephane Grappelli’s 86th birthday concert at the Barbican in London. He played (the violin) superbly. Towards the end Nigel Kennedy, 48 years younger than Grappelli, got up from the audience and they played duets. It was wonderful to see the two of them playing as equals.

    Eventually the concert came to and end. After hearing him play the violin so brilliantly I was quite shocked that Stephane Grapelli had to be supported as he walked across the stage and down the steps.

    I was very struck by the fact that Grapelli at 86 could do things with his fingers that I never have been able to, and never will be able to, and I’m sure it was because he kept on playing, giving weight to the “use it or lose it” theory. (Why that didn’t apply to his walking, however, I can’t explain.)

    By the way – thank you, David, for answering my questions about psychiatry – how talking helps people and why psychiatrists study the physical aspects of the human body. I need to digest your answers but might then, if I may, ask more questions.

    • “I need to digest your answers but might then, if I may, ask more questions.”

      You certain may….David

  2. Personally I think these studies attempt to attribute an association where none exists and are misleading. It’s like comparing apples to cars and attempting to draw similarities between them. Money would be more wisely spent in trying to find the causes and a cure.

    Hopefully the doc told you to lie down, the tenses make it difficult for me.

    Here’s a lie/lay quiz.

    • Here’s a lie/lay quiz.


  3. This is one more instance where researchers are assuming association means causality. Engaging in cognitive exercise might protect against future memory loss. Or, since it has been theorized that the decline of dementia might start as much as 30 years before the symptoms first evidence, it may be that those in the beginning undetected early stages of dementia merely have a declined propensity to engage in cognitive exercise.

  4. Hello David,

    Hoping Pam is well and that the tremors leave you.

    Getting out in the garden sounds like just what you need. Nature has such a wonderful, peaceful, tranquility about it. Soothes the soul.

    lots and lots of best wishes

  5. Wow! I got only 6 correct answers! I guess I’ll have to work harder on my English grammar. Those 2 verbs always give me trouble.
    I think there is a lot of truth in the article about keeping the brain active. As somebody commented here, it’s just another part of the body we need to exercise. That is probably the reason why my husband declined just in his last year and a half of life, because he was constantly reading and writing and was also very skillful with his hands. His first symptoms appeared about nine years before the diagnose -of course, then we didn’t know-, but he started getting worse in the last year. Keep knitting and writing, David!

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