The challenge of being married to a more intelligent woman could help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
There is no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but researchers do have data which indicates that constant and high-level mental activity can delay the onset of those two devastating effects that often come with old age.
High level brain activity can include working puzzles like crosswords or Sudoku as well as maintaining a job or business for as long as possible. But another possible way to delay dementia or Alzheimer’s for men is to marry intelligent women, researchers say.
Lawrence Whalley, a professor of mental health in the College of Medicine and Life Science at the University of Aberdeen explained his findings at the Oxford Literary Festival in March.
“The thing a boy is never told he needs to do if he wants to live a longer life, but what he should do, is marry an intelligent woman,’’ Whaley said. “There is no better buffer (against dementia) than intelligence.”
It is estimated that more than seven million people every year are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Whalley has written a book that explains the entirety of his theory regarding the prevention or delay of Alzheimer’s. “Understanding Brain Aging and Dementia: A Lifecourse Approach”, explains that behaviors from early in life can help prolong healthy brain activity beyond the previously stated beliefs that healthy eating and the avoidance of alcohol and drugs can be a benefit.
While Whalley agrees with all the previous studies that say brain activity can help ward off mental diseases, he says the intellectual stimulation one gets from an intelligent partner is stronger than other mental activities that are pursued alone.
Whalley’s study looked at the health of identical twins, and found that environment can pay a role in the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Whalley pointed out that the death of a parent at an early age can increase the change of developing the disease in later life.
“Studies have shown that the death of a mother before the age of five is a very important risk factor for dementia in later life,’’ Whalley said to the Oxford Literary Festival.
Whalley said it is difficult, but not impossible, to alter the path your brain is on later in life. Learning a new language or changing a job can prolong the healthy operation of the brain.
It turns out there are other good reasons for a man to marry an intelligent woman, or at least one that is more intelligent than he is.
A report in the European Journal of Operational Research found that when a man marries a woman five years younger than he is and one who has received more education than he has, the marries is more likely to last and the relationship has a better likelihood of being a happy one.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.