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Regular sex boosts brain power – Study

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A study carried out by researchers from the University of Coventry and the University of Oxford , in the United Kingdom , has revealed that regular sexual activity could be linked to improved brain function in older adults .
The researchers found that people who had regular sex scored higher on tests that measured their verbal fluency and their ability to visually perceive objects and the spaces between them .

According to sciencedaily. com , the study published in The Journals of Gerontology , Series B : Psychological and Social Sciences , involved 73 people aged between 50 and 83 years .

The participants filled questionnaires on how often , on the average , they had engaged in sexual activity in the past 12 months and they answered questions about their general health and lifestyle .

The 28 men and 45 women also took part in a standardised test , which was typically used to measure different patterns of brain function in older adults , focusing on attention , memory , fluency , language and visuo – spatial ability.

The test included verbal fluency tests in which participants had 60 seconds to name as many animals as possible , and then to say as many words , beginning with the letter F , as they could .

The participants also took part in tests to determine their visuo -spatial ability , which included copying a complex design and drawing a clock face from memory .

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The study noted that participants, who engaged in sexual activities every week , had the highest scores in both sets of tests , with the verbal fluency tests showing the strongest effect .

The researchers said the results suggested that the frequency of sexual activity was not linked to attention , memory or language as the participants performed well in these tests regardless of whether they reported weekly , monthly or had no sex .

The lead researcher of the study , Dr Hayley Wright , from Coventry University ’ s Centre for Research in Psychology , Behaviour , and Achievement , said , “ We can only speculate whether this is driven by social or physical elements , but an area we would like to research further is the biological mechanisms that may influence this.

“ Every time we do another piece of research we are getting a little bit closer to understanding why this association exists at all , what the underlying mechanisms are and whether there is a ‘ cause and effect ’ relationship between sexual activity and cognitive function in older people .

“ People don’ t like to think that older people have sex , but we need to challenge this misconception at a societal level and look at what impact sexual activity can have on those aged 50 and above , beyond the known effects on sexual health and general wellbeing . ”

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