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Marriage may protect against dementia

From BBC - October 27, 2017

Marriage and having close friends may help protect against dementia, according to Loughborough University researchers.

The study, published in Journals of Gerontology, followed 6,677 adults for just under seven years.

The quality of a person's social circle appeared more important than the overall size, the research team said.

The Alzheimer's Society said it was essential to help patients to maintain "meaningful social connections".

None of the participants had dementia at the start of the trial, but 220 were diagnosed during it.

The research group compared the traits of those who did and did not develop dementia to find clues as to how social lives affect risk.

One finding was that when it comes to friends, it's quality, not quantity, that counts.

Prof Eef Hogervorst said: "You can be surrounded by people, but it is the number of close relationships that is associated with a reduced risk for dementia... it's not about the quantity."

She thinks having close friends acts as a "buffer" against stress, which is linked to poor health.

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