As the population ages here in Syracuse there is interest in natural health interventions to help avoid dementia. Research has shown that healthy lifestyles can help the people here in Syracuse keep their brains healthy as they age. ScienceDaily has reported on a study of interest to the Syracuse community, “Look After Your Brain”, http://bit.ly/gwUwsv..
Swedish scientist Laura Fratiglioni has shown that everyone can minimize his or her risk of being affected by dementia. Such factors as blood pressure and weight to the degree of physical and mental activity can influence cognitive functioning as one ages. It has been estimated that worldwide more than 24 million people are affected by dementia. Most sufferers of dementia have Alzheimer’s disease. In the more well developed countries, 70 percent of the persons with dementia are 75 years or older. Age has been shown to be the greatest risk factor for developing dementia.
There is growing evidence that the strong association between dementia and increasing age can be, at least partially, explained by a life course of cumulative exposure to different risk factors. Laura Fratiglioni’s research group at Karolinska Institutet is recognized as a leader in identifying the risk factors that lie behind developing dementia and using this knowledge to develop possible preventative strategies. This group’s research has shown that the risk for dementia is partly determined by an individual genetic susceptibility. Fratiglioni’s research group has also shown that active involvement in mental, physical and social activities can delay the onset of dementia by preserving cognitive functions.
Also, further education early in life has a protective effect, and the group’s research has shown that it is never too late to get started. Professor Laura Fratiglioni has said “The brain, just as other parts of the body, requires stimulation and exercise in order to continue to function. Elderly people with an active life — mentally, physically and socially — run a lower risk of developing dementia, and it doesn’t matter what the particular activities are.” It has also been shown by Laura Fratiglioni’s research that physical factors are also significant. High and low blood pressure, and diabetes and obesity when middle-aged increase the risk of developing dementia after the age of 70. Fratiglioni has said “What is good for the heart is good for the brain.”
This ScienceDaily report, which is reprinted, with editorial adaptations by the ScienceDaily staff, from materials provided by Karolinska Institutet, http://bit.ly/ge5r2s, via EurekAlert, http://bit.ly/efNPGn, should help Syracuse residents remember to take care of your brains to help avoid dementia.
Mandel News Service