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Social Bonds Protect Aging Brains

Summary: Social isolation can potentially harm brain structure and cognitive performance, suggesting an increased risk of conditions like Alzheimer’s dementia.

The study indicates a lack of quality social interaction can lead to a decrease in the hippocampus’s volume, crucial for memory formation and retrieval, and poorer cognitive performance. However, maintaining a strong social network could help preserve brain structure, providing a potential preventive strategy for dementia onset.

The findings underline the importance of targeting those at risk of social isolation with tailored strategies to enhance their social contact.

Key Facts:

  1. Social isolation may lead to a decrease in hippocampal volume and poorer cognitive performance, potentially increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia.
  2. Individuals with a strong social network may preserve their brain structure and cognitive performance better, suggesting that social contact may help prevent dementia.
  3. A correlation was found between increased social isolation and both decreased hippocampal volume and increased cognitive decline, indicating the importance of social contact in maintaining brain health in aging populations.

Source: eLife

Read the whole article by the original source through the link below:

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