Sixty-year-olds who meet up with friends and family on a regular basis are less likely to develop the illness years later. Of more than 10,000 civil servants quizzed in the study, those aged 60 who saw pals almost daily were 12 per cent less likely to develop the disease than those who only saw them every few months.
Study senior author Professor Gill Livingston, at University College London, said it is believed social contacts boosted “cognitive reserve”.
She said: “While it may not stop brains from changing, cognitive reserve could help people cope better with the effects of age and delay symptoms of dementia.”
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