#Lifestyle #paramount #prevent #Alzheimers
(CCM Health) — Currently, more than 5 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s. To prevent these numbers from growing, scientists are investing in lifestyle-based prevention.
During the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference, which took place in Los Angeles, researchers argued that people should dedicate themselves to learning a new language or playing musical instruments, for example.
This concept of cognitive reserve, developed by the American Yaakov Stern, professor of neuropsychology and head of the Cognitive Neurosciences Division at Columbia University in New York, refers to the way the brain deals with damage, such as the characteristic degeneration of Alzheimer’s .
“These cognitive trainings should be introduced in schools and all adults and seniors should include them in their routine. There are people who think that playing dominoes or doing crosswords is rubbish, but they are challenges for cognition”, explains neuropsychologist Marcella Bianca, who works with cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive reserve research in Brazil. She even participated in the conference. “Depression, anxiety and stress are associated with dementia,” he says.
Another study supports this thesis. Conducted by the University of Exeter, UK, he found that the risk of dementias is 32% lower in people who, although carrying genes associated with these diseases, have a healthy lifestyle.
“Our results are exciting, as they show that we can act to try to compensate for genetics,” observes Elzbieta Kuma, a researcher at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Exeter and a co-author of the study.
One of the protective factors against dementias identified by researchers is vascular health. It can be achieved through exercise, a low animal fat diet, and prevention of diabetes and hypertension.
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