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Want to Avoid Dementia Later On? Learn a Musical Instrument Now.

Here’s your safety tip for today: learning to play a musical instrument can stave off dementia.

Studies on twins show that cultivating your musical talent can decrease your chances of dementia by a third. And we’re not talking about going pro with music; playing the guitar, piano or whatever as a leisure activity is enough. From The Telegraph:

By studying 157 sets of twins, the researchers were able to more accurately investigate the links between music and dementia, because identical twins share 100 per cent of their genetic makeup and dizygotic, or non-identical, twins, 50 per cent on average.

The study involved twins where only one had dementia, which enabled the researchers to track down risk factors unique to the twin with the disease, as well as protective factors exclusive to the healthy twin.

After taking into account sex, education, and physical activity, twins who played a musical instrument in older adulthood were 36 per cent less likely to develop dementia and cognitive impairment.

Read the whole thing here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37921 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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