Friday, December 7, 2007

Good readers better able to retain brain skills

Be glad you never worked in a lead smelter plant. As reported in a recent issue of Neurology, when doctors examined employees who had worked for years at the smelter, they found no lack of neurological problems for those poor workers. But not every worker was affected equally, especially those who were good readers. The years of reading, the scientists speculate, may have helped the smelter employees' brains to develop more "cognitive reserve." So while their motor skills might have been affected like the other workers, the readers retained much of their thinking skills, such as attention, memory, mental calculations and decision making.

This cognitive reserve, built up from years of reading, has been found to shield people from the effects of other types of brain injury, as well. Yet more reason for readers to feel smarter than ever!


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