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Chapter 9 - Social Relationships and Cognitive Function in Older Adults

from Part III - An Individual’s Cognitive Aging with Others: Key Findings, Issues, and Implications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 September 2023

Jeanyung Chey
Affiliation:
Seoul National University
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Summary

Cognitive health is one of the most important determinants of the quality of life and functional independence in older adults. Recently, social relationships have emerged as a protective factor against neurocognitive disorders and cognitive decline in old age. This chapter reviews the literature investigating the influence of structural and functional aspects of social relationships on dementia risk and cognitive function in older adults. For the structural aspects, it includes studies on the effects of social networks, social contacts, and social activity participation on cognitive function in older adults. For the functional aspects, it notes the influences of social support, social conflict, and loneliness on dementia risk and cognitive aging. Lastly, the chapter discusses the potential factors that mediate or modulate the relationship between social relationships and cognitive function.

Type
Chapter
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Society within the Brain
How Social Networks Interact with Our Brain, Behavior and Health as We Age
, pp. 195 - 216
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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