First Posted: Jul 17, 2013 07:53 AM EDT

(Photo : http://www.reuters.com)

A new study by French experts has shown a direct relation between retiring from work and Alzheimer's disease. French government health research agency INSERM studied some 429,000 retirees and have proven that those who delayed their retirement by several years showed significantly lower risk of developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

"Professional activity may be an important determinant of intellectual stimulation and mental engagement, which are thought to be potentially protective against dementia," explained study author and INSERM scientist Carole Dufouil during the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston, CBSNews.com reported.

Working was seen to help prevent mental decline in all patients studied. By staying mentally and physically active, and socially connected, elderly people are able to delay signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's and similar types of dementia. According to findings from the research, "For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2 percent," experts explained.

Carole Dufouil further explained the study to Forbes: "In other words, all other risk factors being equal, those who retired at 65 years old had a 14.6% lower risk of getting dementia than those who retired at 60." With these results being further studied, more elderly people are now considering keeping themselves busy and their minds challenged with any form of work for as long as it is physically possible in order to remain mentally sharp. As the old saying goes, "use it, or lose it."

Alzheimer's is increasingly in the spotlight in the last decade, as a growing number of people are suffering from the condition. Today, an estimated 35 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, and Alzheimer's remains as one of its most common forms. In the U.S. alone, more than 5.2 million live with some form of dementia. There is still no known cause of Alzheimer's or a tested cure to slow its progression.

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