A new British study found that engaging in sex regularly might help prevent mental decline in people over age 50.
The study, conducted by the universities of Coventry and Oxford and published this week in the Journals of Gerontology, tested 28 men and 45 women between the ages of 50 and 83 for a range of cognitive abilities and asked about the frequency of their sexual encounters.
Those who had sex at least once a week scored highly on verbal fluency and visuospatial ability in which participants were tasked with copying a complex design and drawing a clock face from memory.
“It is possible that increasing frequency of sexual activity may correspond to better cognition,” said the study, which builds on research suggesting that increased sexual activity improves cognitive skills in general.
“People don’t like to think that older people have sex,” said Hayley Wright, the lead researcher from Coventry University.
“But we need to challenge this conception at a societal level and look at what impact sexual activity can have on those aged 50 and over,” Hayley said.
The study suggested that future research could examine how biological elements, such as dopamine and oxytocin, could influence the relationship between sexual activity and brain function, which might explain the current findings.
The study concluded that “The findings have important implications for the maintenance of intimate relationships in later life.”
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