Can being a social butterfly help to build cognitive reserve? Perhaps: a study in 2006 showed that people with larger social networks tend to have higher levels of cognitive function, even in the presence of Alzheimer’s disease. (Read more about the study here)
It makes sense that being more socially active could help the brain, but the science is far from clear about whether and how a large social network or regular contact with your wider community could build cognitive reserve and protect against the symptoms of cognitive decline.
However, being socially active as you get older is important for many aspects of health and mobility and it can help to prevent loneliness and to improve quality of life, so it's important for these reasons too.
So if you aren’t already socially active, or if you find your social network has shrunk (maybe you have retired or your children have moved out of the home) then take steps to widen your circle. Join community groups, take part in book clubs and maybe even get some exercise and catch up on the news with walking groups who go at your pace!
Share this page: