A new study shows that having people around you who are good listeners can build your cognitive resilience and maybe lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine analyzed data from over 2000 people in the original Framingham heart study that started in the 1940s. They looked at five types of social support – listening, advice, love and affection, emotional support, and sufficient contact. They found that only the people who reported greater access to supportive listeners – not love, affection, or advice – had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The key is people who let you talk through something on your mind without trying to solve or fix it. And it appears to be important to develop a network of good listeners in your forties or fifties, long before brain decline can start.
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