Reducing the Risk of Dementia

Acupuncture & Naturopath Moorooka

Michelle Blum Natural Health is an Acupuncture and Naturopathy clinic located at Tarragindi Rd. Moorooka, in the south of Brisbane.

In this weeks blog, Michelle shares some new research that shows how certain healthy lifestyle habits used in conjunction with one another, have been found to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, by up to 60 %.

Dementia, a condition affecting over 44 million people world-wide, is a general term meaning that the brain is no longer able to function properly.

Alzheimer’s disease is a very common form of dementia which involves progressive and irreversible damage to the brain. Memory and cognition are severely affected as well as the ability to implement the simplest of tasks.

Most sufferers will first experience symptoms from their mid 60's.

Some of its main features include abnormal clumps known as amyloid plaques and tangled bundles of fibres causing a loss of connection between neurons. Eventually, the majority of the neurons in the brain are killed off with subsequent shrinkage of brain tissue.

New research shows that certain healthy lifestyle modifications can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's Disease by 60 %.

The main findings of this new research involving over 2,500 participants show that the following combined activities lower dementia risk considerably:-

  • Not smoking
  • Engaging in over 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week
  • Engaging in late life cognitive activity
  • Following a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets.
  • Consuming light to moderate amounts of alcohol ie up to 15 gms of alcohol for women and up to 30 gm of alcohol for men per day.

It was noted that the higher the number of adopted lifestyle factors, the lower the risk of dementia. For example, the risk was 37% lower for those adopting two to three healthy lifestyle habits and was 60% lower for those adhering to four or five of these.

To date, there is no real effective treatment for this most debilitating and distressing disease. Knowing however, that there are certain healthy lifestyle principles that can significantly reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease is most encouraging.

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