Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Preventing Dementia

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but that’s no reason to ignore the results of a recent study from Sweden.

Researchers have shown that you can avoid dementia by having a proper diet, exercising regularly and having more friends.

Surely, it’s better than medication.

Time Magazine reports the good news:

… a breakthrough study presented Sunday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference shows that after just two years, people who underwent lifestyle interventions showed improvements in their mental functions, including in memory, executive function and speed tests of their cognitive skills.

Dr. Miia Kivipelto from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden knew that several studies have linked some lifestyle behaviors, such as exercise and a healthy diet, as well as being more socially active, to less cognitive decline and stronger scores on memory and organizational tests. But it wasn’t clear whether people who ate better, exercised more and had more friends also shared something else in common that could explain their ability to slow down dementia symptoms.

Note the caveat…. The researchers cannot exclude the possibility that those who succeeded in slowing down dementia might have had other things in common.

Still and all, no one is going to be harmed by a good diet, regular exercise and more social contacts.

If it does not slow down your brain’s degeneration, it will do wonders for your physical and mental health.

[Addendum: For a more extensive report on the same research study, see the Wall Street Journal.]

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