Regular sexual activity can increase brain power in older adults

More frequent sexual activity has been linked to improved functioning of the brain in the elderly, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford.

Researchers found that people who engaged in more regular sexual activity had a higher score on tests that measured their verbal fluency and their ability to visually perceive objects and spaces between them.

The study, published today in The Journals of Gerontology, series B: Psychological and Social Sciences, involved 73 people aged 50 to 83 years.

Participants completed a questionnaire on how often they had been engaging in sexual activity in the last 12 months - never, monthly or weekly - and answering questions about their health and how they Life in general.

The 28 men and 45 women also participated in a standardized test, which is usually used to measure different models of brain function in the elderly, focusing on attention, memory, fluency, language and visual ability -spatiale.

This included verbal fluency tests in which participants had 60 seconds to name as many animals as possible and then to say as many words starting with F as possible - tests that reflect higher cognitive abilities.

They also participated in tests to determine their visuo-spatial capability which included copying a complex design and drawing a clock from memory.

It was these two sets of tests where participants who engaged in weekly sexual activity scored the highest score, with the most fluent fluency tests.

The results suggested that the frequency of sexual activity was not related to attention, memory or language. In these tests, participants also played, regardless of whether they reported weekly, monthly or absent sexual activity.

This study was developed on previous research from 2016, which revealed that older people who were sexually active obtained more results on cognitive tests than those who were not sexually active.

But this time, the research focused more specifically on the impact of sexual activity (ie, it makes a difference how often you engage in sexual activity) and Also used a wider range of tests to study different areas of cognitive function.

Academics say that further research could examine how biological elements, such as dopamine and oxytocin, may influence the relationship between sexual activity and brain function in order to provide a more complete explanation of their results.

Principal Investigator Dr. Hayley Wright of the Center for Research in Psychology, Behavior and Achievement of the University of Coventry said:

"We can only speculate that this is motivated by social or physical elements - but one area that we would like to explore is biological mechanisms that can influence this situation.

"Whenever we do another research, we get a little closer to why this association exists, what the underlying mechanisms are, and the" cause and effect "relationship between sexual activity and function Cognitive in the elderly people.

"People do not like to think that the elderly have sex - but we have to challenge this concept at the societal level and examine the impact of sexual activity on people aged 50 and over, Beyond the known effects on sexual health and general well-being ".