So far, scientists here have found little evidence that diet or exercise affects the risk of dementia in people over 90. But some researchers argue that mental engagement — doing crossword puzzles, reading books — may delay the arrival of symptoms. And social connections, including interaction with friends, may be very important, some suspect. In isolation, a healthy human mind can go blank and quickly become disoriented, psychologists have found.

“There is quite a bit of evidence now suggesting that the more people you have contact with, in your own home or outside, the better you do” mentally and physically, Dr. Kawas said. “Interacting with people regularly, even strangers, uses easily as much brain power as doing puzzles, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this is what it’s all about.”

New York Times: At the Bridge Table, Clues to a Lucid Old Age

An article about Red Bull drinking 92 year old bridge players is a good compliment to this New Yorker article about 20 and 30 somethings trying to squeeze as much performance out of their brains as possible.

See also:

Blue Zones

5 real products of the 90s cyberpunk & transhumanist hype

Could Caffeine Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Also, whenever I start to worry about growing older, I take comfort in what Alejandro Jodorowsky had to say in this interview:

You’re 77 now. How are you coping with growing older?

It’s fantastic! I like it a lot. I don’t want to change myself. If you said, Do you want to be 40 years old [again] and I would say, maybe my body, but not my mind. It’s a nightmare, a social nightmare to get old – to get Parkinson’s, to become an idiot, but every day the brain is making new connections and is developing, like the universe. Your soul is getting better and better because you are losing what is not necessary. It’s fantastic to get old! It’s an incredible feeling of freedom, incredible!