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Study Reveals Ways to Help Reduce Risk of Developing Dementia/Alzheimer’s

Study Reveals Ways to Help Reduce Risk of Developing Dementia/Alzheimer’s
August 01
15:22 2019

Research involving Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, has been growing by leaps and bounds with new discoveries being reported at least once a month, if not more often. Some of these research projects have focused on determining the exact cause of various dementias including Alzheimer’s, that is, what exactly takes place in the brain that leads to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Other studies have been concentrating on finding ways to treat Alzheimer’s and one study, recently reported, involved the possibility of developing a vaccine to prevent Alzheimer’s.

While all of these studies are exciting and offer hope for the future, the future for most of them is still a number of years off, meaning that the hopes are not going to help people now.

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So, is there anything people can do now to reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia?

According to a study conducted by the University of Exeter, located on the southwestern peninsula of England, there are ways to reduce one’s risk of developing dementia/Alzheimer’s, even if there is a genetic propensity for it.

The study consisted of analyzing the data of 196,383 adults of European ancestry that were 60-years-old and older. Over a period of 8 years, the study group identified 1,769 cases of dementia. Further analysis revealed:

Participants with high genetic risk and an unfavorable lifestyle were almost three times more likely to develop dementia versus those with a low genetic risk and favorable lifestyle. However, the risk of dementia was 32% lower in people with a high genetic risk if they had followed a healthy lifestyle, compared to those with an unhealthy lifestyle…

The study, published Monday by scientists at the University of Exeter and presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Los Angeles, looked at four main signs of a healthy versus unhealthy lifestyle. Those who were more likely to develop dementia reported eating an unhealthier diet higher in sugar and salt, did not engage in regular physical activity and smoked cigarettes. (The researchers considered “moderate alcohol consumption,” as well as regular exercise, no smoking and a healthy diet, as part of a healthy lifestyle.)

A 2017 study found a fifth item worth avoiding: Artificial sweeteners. “Drinking at least one artificially sweetened beverage daily was associated with almost three times the risk of developing stroke or dementia compared to those who drank artificially sweetened beverages less than once a week,” according to the study, published in the American Heart Association journal “Stroke.”

Beware of the medicine cabinet: Researchers also found a statistically significant association between dementia and exposure to anticholinergic drugs, especially antidepressants, anti-psychotic drugs, anti-Parkinson drugs, anti-epilepsy drugs and bladder antimuscarinics, which are used to treat urinary incontinence… 

Co-lead author David Llewellyn, an Associate Professor at the University of Exeter Medical School and Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute commented on the study:

“This research delivers a really important message that undermines a fatalistic view of dementia. Some people believe it’s inevitable they’ll develop dementia because of their genetics.”

This study shows that the fatalistic view isn’t necessarily true and that those with the genetic propensity to develop dementia/Alzheimer’s can be greatly reduced. It also needs to be noted that the same unhealthy lifestyles mentioned in the study that increases the risk of dementia/Alzheimer’s is the same as the unhealthy lifestyle that increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and a host of other conditions that lead to an early death.

Have you ever heard the expression used for computers – GIGO (garbage in garbage out)? When it comes to one’s lifestyle, you may want to think of it this way – GIGSI (garbage in garbage stays in) and face it, garbage stinks.

 

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