SCIENCE – Do you give advice to your friends when they tell you about a difficult time? Instead, try to just listen to them and understand what they are feeling! This move could improve their lives. A study published August 16 in the journal Jama Network Open shows that what researchers call “supportive listening” can help prevent certain cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

What is it about? Close to active listening, supportive listening is characterized by the listener’s posture. He just needs to be receptive to what is said and respond to the emotions communicated instead of offering advice or solutions. Listening actively to others helps build cognitive resilience. This represents the ability to maintain sufficient brain capacity despite signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. In short, the more you are listened to, the more armed you are against memory loss and dementia.

External factors taken into account

Scientific recommendations or suggestions for preventing Alzheimer’s disease usually include neurological exercise or a healthy diet. This study takes into account external factors such as social relationships.

“People who have enjoyed a good listener in their lives are more likely to have brains that maintain their ‘raw power’ over time,” says Joel Salinas, professor of neurology at Grossman School of Medicine. New York University and lead study author for, EveryDayHealth.

For the study, 2,171 people of all ages were assessed for their social support of five types: listening, counseling, love-affection, emotional support, and sufficient contact. She shows that people who often had someone to talk to when they needed them had greater cognitive resilience.

The study concludes that supportive listening and other forms of social support can be used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions that impair brain function and memory retention.

Professor Joel Salinas adds: “So in addition to the many known benefits of listening, having a breeding ground for good listeners in your life can actually increase cognitive abilities and brain health”.

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