Dr. David Bennett summarized the work by saying it this way: “Many elderly people who have the tangles and plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease don’t clinically experience cognitive impairment or dementia,” said Bennett. “Our findings suggest that social networks are related to something that offers a ‘protective reserve’ capacity that spares them the clinical manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease.”
That’s a sizable claim. We’ve always felt intuitively that positive social networks like Front Porch Forum contributes to good health. I seem to recall that Bowling Alone presents evidence along these lines as well.