Man, this is a topic close to my heart, at least in terms of concerns we have about the future.
Jack recently sent me this article [gated, unfortunately], which summarizes the literature to date. The short summary:
- Drugs don't help.
- Play mind-taxing games.
- Maybe do some physical exercise.
A summary from the article,
• There is some evidence that specific cognitive exercises can sharpen
memory and have an incremental benefit in preventing cognitive
decline. However, the transferability of these benefits to any cognitively
stimulating activity is unproven.
• There is some evidence that physical exercise may have a positive benefit, and given its countless other medical benefits, it should be encouragedwith all patients.
• Perhaps the most important application of this review can be the
rebuttal of claims of many natural health food products and other
pharmacologic agents that purport benefits to cognition. [emphasis added]