Studies Show How Dementia Risk May Be Lowered

19 Comments

Can Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia be prevented? Two separate studies indicate that that it may be possible.

As reported by Time magazine, the first study was led by Kenneth Rockwood, a professor of neurology and geriatric medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Conducted on more than 7,000 Canadians ages 65 years or older, the study demonstrated that there are 19 previously overlooked health conditions that appear to impact a person's risk for developing dementia.

At the beginning of the decade-long project, Rockwood and his colleagues took note of the presence of health conditions not previously associated with dementia, such as skin, eye and ear problems and bone fractures. At the end of the study, researchers took a look at how many people had developed dementia. They found that each detrimental health condition increased a person's dementia risk by about 3.2%.

Rockwood told AgingCare.com that the best way for the elderly to reduce their risk for developing dementia was to maintain good health. "The best way to do this appears to be physical exercise, with appropriate supervision, aiming for 45 minutes per day of brisk walking, five days per week," he said.

This recommendation is echoed in a second study, presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Paris, which focused on Alzheimer's risk factors.

Researcher Deborah Barnes, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and her team conducted a worldwide study that discovered that seven factors-- diabetes, obesity, smoking, depression, low-education, a sedentary lifestyle and high blood pressure-- contribute to a little more than half of the world's 35 million instances of Alzheimer's. The good news: Many of these factors are controllable, leading the researchers to conclude that many Alzheimer's cases could be prevented by keeping the brain and body active.

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19 Comments

newtonjoyce, I have a hard time getting my mother to move about, but apparently they can convince her at the Day Care (I call it a senior center) she goes to twice a week (Thank you CT Home Care for elders program!).
I belive that the execise is very important for a demetia person, if they dont get enough or any at all, they can fall deeper into the stages faster as depression sets in.I take care of my mother inlaw whom has vasular demetia and copd, and ostio.. she has had a few tia's,(mini strokes). I Have to give her showers, get her dressed and keep depends on her, make her breakfast, give her her meds etc..she will walk to the bathroom herself when she has to go but, needs some assitence in the sanitary area.She can't drive, or cary on conversation anymore, do bills or anything like that, her 88 yr old husband does that. he helps alot as he is still physicaly fit to do so.She use to do crossword puzzzels every afternoon and read, doesn't do it anymore as she cant process anymore. Its very hard to tell her husband how to go about things with her, but he is learning the more he admits she has this problem.I also have to make sure she eats cause she will say I don;t like everything.
I agree about the exercise and having other interests as well.I do pretty much all of the above for my father who is 83. The processing slows and it's "what do I do now."
Or "what happens next" or "what am I suppose to do" I think sleeping all day is a way to not feel lost, yet trying to keep them busy is next to impossible.