Creative Arts Can Help Fight Dementia
According to recent research from the Mayo Clinic, joining a sculpting class or learning to paint lowers the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the first sign of many forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. The participants reported their involvement in creative art activities such as painting, drawing, and sculpting over a four year period. Those who had taken part in arts were 73 percent less likely to have suffered memory or thinking problems.
The study included 256 people who were 85 years and older. In addition to analyzing the effect of the creative arts on dementia, researchers also looked at the results of crafting, socializing, and using technology. These activities also lowered the risk of MCI by 45, 55, and 53 percent, respectively. Study authors feel that the reason that practicing the creative arts is so successful is that it not only stimulates the mind but uses fine motor skills. Results were risk adjusted by gender and education.
Source: Roberts R, Cha R, Mielke M, et al. Risk and protective factors for cognitive impairment in persons aged 85 years and older. Neurology, 2015; 84(18): 1854-1861.