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Can having friends who listen help you protect your memory and thinking skills?

Briefings on current events

Having a good listener in your life may have a far greater impact on your health than simply making you feel better when you need to sort out your emotions. According to a study published online Aug. 16, 2021, by JAMA Network Open, this form of assistance may also contribute to improved cognition in our older years. Researchers at Harvard and other institutions analyzed over 2,200 participants' self-reported social support data, as well as psychological assessments and brain volume scans. (Brain shrinkage may be a symptom of aging or dementia-related abnormalities.) In comparison to those who did not have strong listeners in their lives, those who always had someone to listen exhibited greater cognitive resilience – superior thinking abilities relative to the amount of brain volume loss. According to researchers, having someone to chat with may alleviate stress and brain inflammation and encourage the production of chemicals that enhance brain health and help you stay sharper for longer.


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