Study: Later retirement may help prevent dementia

June Springer, poses for a photograph, where she works at Caffi Contracting Services, Friday, July 12, 2013 in Alexandria, Va. Springer who just turned 90, works as a receptionist. People who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, a study of half a million people in France found. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
June Springer, poses for a photograph, where she works at Caffi Contracting Services, Friday, July 12, 2013 in Alexandria, Va. Springer who just turned 90, works as a receptionist. People who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, a study of half a million people in France found. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

BOSTON (AP) — New research boosts the “use it or lose it” theory about brainpower and staying mentally sharp.

A study of nearly half a million people in France finds that people who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.

Researchers found that for each additional year a person worked, the risk of getting dementia was reduced by more than 3 percent.

Doctors say the conclusion makes sense. Working helps keep people physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged, and all of those things help prevent mental decline.

The French government’s health research agency did the study. Results were reported Monday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Boston.

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