Your aging brain: Is it ‘use it or lose it’?

By Melissa Healy Los Angeles Times, Star-Advertiser

Yes, your brain is like a muscle: If you don’t strengthen and stretch its capacities, it will not deliver high performance.

But your brain is not like one of those forgiving muscles that lets you engage in a lifetime of indolence and then perks up willingly when you take up weight-training upon retirement. No, your brain is more like one of those muscles that will reward you for having worked it across the your lifespan.

Which is not to say that engaging in lifelong mental calisthenics will protect you from cognitive decline in the end: Recent research has found that it probably will not.

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