Old people having more sex have better verbal fluency and visuospatial ability, a new study suggests.
The study emphasises that having intercourse aids old people in maintaining their brain health. A total of 73 participants belonging to the age group between 50 and 83 were a part of this study.
The subjects were questioned about how sexually active they were last year and they gave a series of tests. The results revealed that the old people who were sexually active scored more on verbal fluency and visuospatial ability in comparison to others.
The research also included tests regarding the language, attention and memory of the partakers. It was found that these results were not related to the frequency of the sexual activity of the participants.
According to the lead researcher, Dr Hayley Wright from Coventry University's centre for research in psychology, behaviour and achievement, increased sexual activity enhanced most of their brain functions.
"We can only speculate whether this is driven by social or physical elements -- but an area we would like to research further is the biological mechanisms that may influence this," she stated as quoted by Science World Report.
This study was published in the University of Oxford website on June 23, 2017, and it is a follow-up of a research which was carried out in 2016. The 2016 study had just revealed that sexually active old people scored more on cognitive tests when compared to those who were not, but the latest study reveals the exact brain functions that get enhanced due to the sexual activity.
"Every time we do another piece of research we are getting a little bit closer to understanding why this association exists at all, what the underlying mechanisms are, and whether there is a 'cause and effect' relationship between sexual activity and cognitive function in older people," Wright stated.
The study concluded that a rise observed in the engagement of social, mental and physical activity is related to a lower rate of cognitive decline in older adults, the study concluded. A noteworthy link can be seen between their sexual activeness and cognitive functions in the later stage of their lives as sexual activity is also considered as a physical activity as well as a social engagement.
"People don't like to think that older people have sex -- but we need to challenge this conception at a societal level and look at what impact sexual activity can have on those aged 50 and over, beyond the known effects on sexual health and general wellbeing," Wright said.
Further research work on the increase in sexual activities in adults needs to be carried out to find its impact on their brain function.
"We look forward to applying these measures in large population studies to give both increased depth and breadth of cognitive measures, moving away from a singular focus on memory as the key domain of research into ageing and dementia," said Dr Nele Demeyere, the co-author of the study.