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Exercise, Blood Pressure Control could help Prevent Dementia

Alzheimer patients from Switzerland are cared by Thai caretakers during afternoon activities at Baan Kamlangchay care center in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

How can they protect themselves? But the public should be told the evidence is “encouraging” though inconclusive, the report concluded.

That’s not saying that people shouldn’t watch their blood pressure or engage in brain training and physical activities.

Commenting on results of the study, Alan Leshner, CEO emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science said, “At least two of those, we know, are good for a whole lot of other things that people do or that they could suffer from”. However, there are some indications that exercise, blood pressure control, and brain exercise might be helpful in this regard.

Petersen said, “The strongest evidence was in the area of cognitive training“. “We should always be open and honest with patients and the general public, so can not tell people that by doing this they will prevent cognitive decline”.

According to a report published Thursday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), there is promising evidence that cognitive training, managing your blood pressure if you have hypertension and increasing your physical activity may help prevent age-related cognitive decline and dementia.

Since then, the understanding of dementia has advanced.

Additional research and trials are required for all three of these measures to better understand how they relate to brain health. What this means is that a person can use this info in order to decide if he or she wants to invest their time, and usually money, on certain interventions to keep their mental health going.

There’s been no evidence so far that anything can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, but health experts say that some common-sense practices may contribute in slowing down memory loss. Treating hypertension prevents stroke and cardiovascular disease-both risk factors for AD-and a majority of dementia patients have some sign of these.

He said the committee did not try to pinpoint which mental activities might be best; how low blood pressure should go; or how much exercise one needs to get the most benefit. Exercise is also considered as a stress buster.

While cognitive training as an intervention has been garnering increased attention, there is nearly no evidence to suggest long-term benefits and whether training in one domain, such as processing speed, yields benefits in others, such as in memory and reasoning, and if this can translate to maintaining independence in instrumental activities of daily living, such as driving and remembering to take medications.

It is well-documented that physical activity has many health benefits, and some of these benefits – such as stroke prevention – are causally related to brain health. However, debate has centered on evidence for long-term benefits and whether training in one domain, such as processing speed, yields benefits in others, such as in memory and reasoning, and if this can translate to maintaining independence in instrumental activities of daily living, such as driving and remembering to take medications. That way, it can inform people who are interested in bettering their chances of healthy brain aging. Even so, the evidence remains too weak to warrant a broad-based public health campaign, the authors said.

The committee said there were three rays of hope: cognitive training, blood pressure control, and exercise. Many controlled studies back up those findings. Consistent results in those would increase their confidence.

The study was sponsored by the National Institute on Aging.

In drawing its qualified conclusions, the panel cited research released last summer suggesting that a program of highly targeted brain-training reduced the risk of cognitive decline or dementia by almost half over 10 years.

And several studies have shown that exercise can help.

By Beatrice Santos

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Posted by on Jun 26 2017. Filed under Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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