A new study suggests that illiterate people are three times more likely suffer from dementia later in their lives. The study, published in Daily Mail, and conducted by researchers from the Columbia university in New York, came to the conclusion after looking at nearly 1,000 people septuagenarians (people between 70-79 years) over a span of four years.
Results of the study were originally published in the journal Nature. The researchers subsequently found that dementia tripled in those elderly who were never taught how to read or write.
The lead author of the study Dr Jennifer Manly said that being able to read and write allowed people to engage in more activities like reading newspapers and helping their children or grandchildren with their homework, which engages the brain. She added that while previous research showed that such activities reduced the risk of dementia, their studies provided more evidence that reading and writing may be important factors when it comes to staving the disease.