New study: Does sex help prevent dementia? - Metro US

New study: Does sex help prevent dementia?

Old couple

If you’re over 50, you may want to casually mention this study to your significant other before turning in for the night.Researchers at Coventry University in England gave a questionnaire to 6,800 people between the ages of 50 and 89 asking them all sorts of questions about their sex lives. Then, they had them do a series of mental tests. It turns out, the participants who scored higher on the memory-related questions just so happened to have sex regularly.

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The researchers credit the uptick in memory success to dopamine and oxytocin, which are released during sex, and also are linked to promoting memory and learning.

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But if you are a senior citizen and don’t have a ready sex partner, don’t fret: There are other things you can do that have the same affects. The biggest one is to exercise. The Alzheimer’s Society has found direct links between exercise and lowered risk for dementia — and can help memory even after a diagnosis. They also suggest doing crossword puzzles to keep the brain active.

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Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

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