The BBC recently printed a story from Neurology, titled ‘Active Brain Keeps Dementia at Bay’. The study was based on the lifestyle choices of 294 adults from the US over the age of 55. They were tested every 6 years from that age until the end of life, measuring factors such as lifestyle and health. After death, the brains of the subjects were measured for signs of dementia.
The overwhelming conclusion of the study was that the best prevention of dementia was to keep active, eat healthy, stay slim, and maintain an active brain.
In fact, those subjects who had recorded keeping their brains active – reading books, writing, participating in social activities, etc. – recorded on average a 15% slower cognitive decline than the other participants.
While research into the causes of dementia have increased recently, there is still much research to be done and results so far are fairly inconclusive. The best results that we can so far rely on are stay healthy – keep your body and mind active. Even without clear results from studies, we can all agree that in the overall synopsis of our health, staying healthy throughout the stages of our lives will have an immense impact on how long and well we live. The total benefits of staying healthy will not just be prevention of dementia!