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Tuesday 17 March 2015

Healthy Eating and Brain Training Can Slow Dementia

Dementia, like diabetes, appears to have increased dramatically in recent years. There are many studies looking into this. Some are asking, is it the change in foods we eat to blame, should we take more exercise, is it genetics. You do see Alzheimer's being called the new Type 3 Diabetes - quite scary.
Of course many of our readers here are very interested in, and do live the LCHF lifestyle. This means you are eating reduced carbohydrates/sugars, you do eat more healthy fats, and you do eat moderate protein. You also take regular exercise and establish a good sleep pattern. Many believe this type of lifestyle can be helpful if you are epileptic - why couldn't it be beneficial for dementia, or the slowing down of it? I read with interest this recent article, which I hope you will find interesting.
" A comprehensive programme of healthy eating advice,exercise, brain-training and health management can slow down mental decline in older people, research has shown.
Scientists studied the effects of the programme in 1,260 Fins aged 60 to 77, all of whom were considered to be at risk of dementia.

Standard mental functioning tests at the end of two years showed that participants randomly allocated to the programme had 25% better test scores than those receiving regular health advice.

For some tests, differences between groups were more striking. For executive functioning - the brain's ability to organise and regulate thought processes - scores were 83% higher in the programme group and for processing speed 150% higher.

Lead researcher Professor Miia Kivipelto, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, said: "Much previous research has shown that there are links between cognitive decline in older people and factors such as diet, heart health, and fitness. However, our study is the first large randomised controlled trial to show that an intensive programme aimed at addressing these risk factors might be able to prevent cognitive decline in elderly people who are at risk of dementia."

Findings from the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (Finger) are reported in the The Lancet medical journal.

Dr Simon Ridley, from Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "This study is one of the first of its kind, testing the benefits of a group of intensive lifestyle and health interventions on memory and thinking in older people at higher risk of dementia. "The initial results are promising and suggest that a combination of improving cardiovascular health and keeping mentally active could slow decline in some aspects of our thinking, but it's unclear which of the interventions carried the greatest benefit.

"Benefits on memory were not so clear from this study and we await the findings from the longer follow-up period to see whether this intervention also has long-term benefits in reducing the risk of dementia.

"We know that dementia is caused by a complex mixture of age combined with genetic and lifestyle risk factors. Further studies like this will be vital to help us unpick the best approaches to maintaining brain health as we age and potentially helping to reduce the burden of dementia in society."

See original article here

All the best Jan


Galina L. said...

I will show the post to my mom, she is scared from the Alzheimer after her mom died in a demented state at 95.

Anonymous said...

Since the 60's foods have changed enormously. Is it since then the increase of dementia, diabetes and the ADHD and other illnesses and conditions which affect so many children has grown. There may be a link here too.

Kath (retired HCP)

Anonymous said...

Great article, thank you for sharing! It's empowering to know we do NOT have to be victims of some of these diseases, like dementia, Alzheimer's, T2D, etc.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Galina - hope this post does help your mom. Thanks for your comment.

Hi Kath - many thanks for your comment. I think there could well be a link between the increase in many childhood illnesses, and the difference in foods over the decades. The scary thing is they are also developing some of these illnesses at a much younger age. Healthy eating, staying away from processed foods can only help.

Hi Wendy (fitteratfortyish) - many thanks for your comment. Healthy eating can help, it's important to share articles like this.

All the best Jan