A retrospective analysis of the Whitehall II cohort study found that frequent social contact in midlife may reduce dementia risk.  Data collected over 28 years reveal that adults who reported frequent social contact (regularly seeing friends and family) in middle age were less likely to receive a dementia diagnosis. The researchers also reported that this effect seemed stronger for participants who reported frequent interactions with friends than for those who reported social contact only with family members. The authors suggest that being socially engaged may require greater activity in areas of the brain that contribute to language and memory, which in turn may account for better cognitive health. This research, published in PLOS Medicine, was funded in part by the NIA.