The fact that there is an economic downturn and older workers put off retirement living may turn out to have a silver lining.
At King's College in London, researchers went through demographic data of patients suffering from dementia to see if there were any potential risk factors based on 382 male patients under their care.
While they did not find any correlation with education or the choice of work, the age when the men retired seemed to play a role in how the disease progressed, with an extra year of work delaying the disease by about six weeks possibly because of the intellectual stimulation, according to the scientists.
"The possibility that a person's cognitive reserve can still be modified later in life adds weight to the 'use it or lose it' concept where keeping active later in life has important health benefits including reducing dementia risk," according to co-author Professor Simon Lovestone.
Further research into lifestyle factors may also help produce ways of "whittling down" Alzheimer's care costs, said Alzheimer's Research Trust CEO Rebecca Wood.