We all need someone to talk to, right? A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that simply having someone you can count on to be there to listen when you need it may build cognitive resilience and slow the progression of symptoms of dementia.

The researchers says cognitive resilience is when your brain functions better than expected for the amount of disease-related or aging changes in your brain.

“This study adds to growing evidence that people can take steps, either for themselves or the people they care about most, to increase the odds they’ll slow down cognitive aging or prevent the development of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease — something that is all the more important given that we still don’t have a cure for the disease,” says Dr. Joel Salinas, the study's lead author and a neurologist at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

He says that even though dementia and Alzheimer's disease are usually associated with older people, now is the time for younger people to make sure they have people in their lives who listen to them. That will help improve the chances of good brain health in the future.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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