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The Memory Hack

by Jerome Princy (2019-09-11)

This study is the first to The Memory Hack Review estimate the advantages of eliminating various risk factors for dementia. While this type of research can't determine cause and effect, it can suggest direction for public health programs. Dementia, a medical term often misused, isn't so much a disease, but a descriptive term for a collection of symptoms that can be caused by any number of disorders that affect the brain. It is not a normal part of the aging process, though it is common in the elderly. Having memory loss (admittedly a common symptom of dementia) isn't enough; doctors look for two or more brain functions being impaired without loss of consciousness. And the impairment must be severe enough to impact normal daily activities and relationships. This most recent dementia research included 1,433 healthy adults (over age 65) living in the south of France. Subjects underwent cognitive testing by a neurologist at the start of the study and again in years two, four and seven in order to judge any dementia and/or mild cognitive impairment. Blood pressure and blood samples were also taken at these visits, and tests of intelligence and to identify any depressive symptoms were also administered. When the study began and during all follow up sessions, subjects provided details on their medical history as well as information on diet, education, monthly income, alcohol consumption and use of tobacco. At the end of the study, there were 405 cases of dementia and/or mild cognitive impairment. When the numbers were crunched, the researchers concluded that eliminating depression and diabetes, and an increased intake of fruits and veggies would bring an overall 21% reduction in new cases of dementia. Taking away depression alone leads to a 10% reduction, but this is no reason to assume a causal link between depression and dementia. Increasing education would also reduce new cases of dementia by 18% in the general population over the next seven years. Eliminating the primary known genetic risk factor leads to only a 7% reduction in dementia risk. Working on other risk factors beyond genetics may hold much promise. The researchers believe the message to clinicians is that from young adulthood on efforts should be made to prevent patients from being exposed to risk. Work with them to avoid insulin dependence before it gets to the diabetes stage. Identify and treat depression when it occurs. Encourage literacy and continuing education no matter your age. Relay the importance of a balanced, healthy diet to the body.