Exercise Can Strengthen Brain Function, Prevent Dementia
A recent study has shown that regular exercise can improve the protection of the brain against dementia.
According to the study published last week in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, researchers noted that exercise increases the strength of proteins the brain needs to communicate with the rest of the body.
Strengthening these proteins may improve your chances of fighting dementia and other dementia.
The researchers analyzed the protein levels in people who donated their brains after their death. The midbrain came from a person between the ages of 70 and 80.
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The researchers also followed physical activity at the end of life in the elderly participants. There, they found that the most physically active people had higher levels of proteins used by the brain to exhibit healthy cognitive function.
About 50 million people currently suffer from dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form. Each year brings 10 million new cases, according to a report released in 2019 by the World Health Organization.
Although age is the main risk factor, “dementia is not a natural or inevitable consequence of aging,” according to the report.
Many health and behavioral issues affect the chances of developing it, and research suggests that a third of cases are preventable, said Maria Carrillo, scientific director of the Alzheimer’s Association, which published similar advice.
Much of the advice from the WHO is common sense and echoes what the US National Institute on Aging says.
This includes getting enough exercise; treat other health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; have an active social life and avoid or reduce harmful habits such as smoking, overeating and drinking too much alcohol. There is little evidence that some of them help preserve thinking skills, but they are known to improve overall health, according to the WHO.
Eating well, and possibly following a Mediterranean-style diet, may help prevent dementia, according to the guidelines. But they are taking a strong stand against vitamin B or E pills, fish oil, or multi-complex supplements that are promoted for brain health because there is solid research showing they don’t work.
“There is currently no evidence to show that taking these supplements actually reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and in fact we know that in high doses they can be harmful,” said Dr Neerja. WHO Chowdhary.
“People should look for these nutrients in food… not in supplements,” Carrillo agreed.
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The WHO has also not approved games and other activities aimed at stimulating thinking skills. These can be considered for people with normal abilities or a mild impairment, but there is evidence of low to very low benefit.
There is not enough evidence to recommend antidepressants to reduce the risk of dementia, although they can be used to treat depression, the report says. Hearing aids also may not reduce the risk of dementia, but older people should be screened for hearing loss and treated accordingly.
This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed.