Mingling with Others Is Needed to Prevent Alzheimer’s
A program made ??to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease was performed in Sweden. The program emphasizes a healthy diet, social engagement, physical activity as well as brain and heart health. The program is believed to be able to slow dementia.
Although, several studies have shown that a healthy life does not guarantee it will prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, a healthy life has a close connection with the reduction in the risk of dementia. The presentation of this research was done in the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. According to the WHO, an estimated of 35.6 million people live with dementia worldwide. While Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.
“This is proof that it is hard to do the application in order to maintain brain health,” said Dr. Miia Kivipelto, the study’s researchers, from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. She showed that it is not too late to maintain brain health because all the volunteers in this study were at risk of Alzheimer’s.
At this conference, she also stated that controlling certain risk factors, such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes can reduce the prevalence of Alzheimer’s nearly a third
People with Alzheimer’s are also experiencing complications of dementia that causes problems of decision making and inability to perform daily tasks. As a result, complications of Alzheimer’s disease leads to death. In the United States, Alzheimer is ranked sixth leading cause of death, where approximately 5.3 million Americans are affected by this disease.
For this study, researchers recruited 1,260 elderly from Finland between the ages of 60 to 77 years to take samples over a period of two years. All registered volunteers have risky lifestyles of causing cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s. In neurological tests, volunteers who have cognitive performance score average or slightly below the average of their age.
The participants were then divided into two groups. There is a group that received basic health consultation and follow a multi-component program targeting diet and exercise for heart and brain health as well as engaging in social interaction. Multi-component programs are delivered in a series of sessions during the study.
After two years, the researchers found that the group receiving only basic health advice decreased cognitive abilities constantly.
“We saw up to 40 percent difference between the multi-component group with the group who received only advice,” said Kivipelto, as quoted by Reuters.
Kivipelto said the difference is significant but it is difficult to know whether the participants experience a noticeable difference in real life. Then, Kivipelto plans to test again to determine the effects of Alzheimer’s prevention program in real life. Kivipelto states that a healthy lifestyle does not guarantee a person will not be affected by Alzheimer’s.
“Healthy living though not necessarily guarantee you avoid illness, especially if you do not live a healthy life. We do not want people to label that Alzheimer’s occurs as a causal lifestyle,” said Kivipelto. However, he targeted intervention program is a continuous activity. At the very least, these programs can affect the health conditions of elderly disease threats that may occur.