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While continued sexual activity may be pleasurable and generally healthy into older age, this study doesn't mean it's a panacea for keeping the brain sharp.If you're older and don't want to engage in sexual activity, the results of this study don't mean there's any reason to worry about it. They adjusted their figures to account for people's age, years in education, gender, and cardiovascular health, as these factors might affect both how often they had sex and their cognitive abilities.
As the researchers point out, we already know that a healthy social life and staying physically active seem to help keep people's cognitive abilities sharper as they age.
We can't draw any firm conclusions about whether sexual activity keeps the brain functioning well, or whether people with better cognitive function are more likely to continue to have sex. Although overall scores of cognitive function were better for people who reported having sex weekly, this seems to have been driven by only two of the five types of mental ability, and the relationships weren't consistent.
And it's hard to explain how having sex monthly could give you worse spatial awareness than either having sex weekly or not at all, for example.
In the spatial awareness test, participants had to draw an image, such as a square, triangle, cube or pyramid, and draw a clock face from memory.
These tests are part of the Addenbrookes Cognitive Examination III (ACE-III) test, a standard test to measure brain function.