Preventing Dementia

There may be things you can do to prevent dementia.

An article on lists a few simple things that you can do that improve reasoning, problem solving and mental processing speed – and may ultimately prevent dementia.

The article cites a study from Finland that says healthy eating, brain training, exercise and good medical management may do the trick.

It is the first study to properly test a special program to prevent age-related cognitive decline.

The two-year study involved 1,260 people ages 60-77 randomly assigned either to receive some general health advice or the special program.

Those in the program were told to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals and low-fat milk and meat products.

They were also given computer brain training sessions and given memory and reasoning strategies they could use. In real life, these could include puzzles, reading and being engaged with life.

They were also given strength training exercises to do one to three times a week and aerobic exercises two to five times per week.

In addition, they had their blood pressure, weight and body mass index checked regularly. Based on the findings, they were given additional recommendations for lifestyle changes.

Those in the program scored 25 percent higher on a neuropsychological test. They did 83 percent better on a measure of executive function and 150 percent better on a test of processing speed.

The study will continue for seven more years to see if the program actually prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s diagnoses.

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