Easy Way to Avoid Dementia and Memory Loss
Scientists have been struggling to find the cause of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
For the most part, they blame it on genetics, which we can do very little about.
But now a new study published in the journal Brain Sciences has revealed a cause of dementia that’s quite manageable.
Brain plasticity, or neural plasticity, is your brain’s ability to grow, reorganize itself, and rewire its neural connections when conditions require.
For example, if you’ve had a stroke or brain injury that compromises one part of your brain, neural plasticity allows neurons to make new connections so that those old brain functions are taken over by another part.
This is also important when you learn something new. When you learn to play the guitar, new neural connections must be formed.
As you age, some parts of your brain may no longer develop as well as they used to, or other parts may be damaged by reduced blood flow. Then, neural plasticity allows you to develop new neural pathways to replicate the functions of the damaged pathways.
Researchers from the University of South Australia and Deakin University set out to examine whether obesity affects the plasticity of brains by examining the brains of 14 obese and 16 normal-weight subjects.
All participants were between ages 18 and 60.
The researchers applied pulses of electrical stimulation to their subjects’ brains, specifically to the part of the brain called the motor cortex. This is where intentional movements are planned, directed, and executed.
They wanted to see how strongly the brains of their subjects responded to this electrical stimulation, which they used as an indicator of neural plasticity.
The brains of the healthy-weight group reacted correctly, with a healthy level of neural activity, while the brains of the obese subjects reacted much less.
From this, they concluded that the brains of the obese subjects were unable to react sufficiently to stimuli to grow, learn, and change.
This means that it is important to lose weight if you want your brain to age healthily, to recover from stroke and injury, and to compensate for small areas of reduced function that inevitably occur with age.
The real breakthrough of this study, however, is that it proves that dementia is not just caused by our genetics and there is something we can do about it.
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Avoid Dementia and Memory Loss – Link between Dementia and Belly Fat
Studies point that excessive fat around the waist puts you at a greater risk of developing dementia. A study recently published in a medical journal shows that women with big waistlines are two times more likely to contract dementia in old age.
The research was done on women who took part in the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenbury. In the 1960s, 1,500 women in the age group 38-60 were studied. The women were not only put through various examinations, but their lifestyle was also analyzed.
After a gap of 32 years, a follow-up study revealed that 161 of these women, with average age of 75 years, now had dementia. The findings also revealed something peculiar – that women who had more fat around the waist than the buttocks or hips were two times more likely to contract dementia in old age. However, this study didn’t find any correlation between BMI (Body Mass Index) and dementia.
Deborah Gustafson, a key researcher of this study, pointed that unlike other similar studies in which a relation between BMI and dementia was found, no direct link between the two were noted in this study. She added that a probable explanation for this could be that a majority of the women who participated in the Prospective Population Study were not overweight or obese.
Belly Fat – Why it is more dangerous
The answer to this riddle could lie in the fact that abdomen area in comparison to other body parts, such as hips or thigh contains more blood vessels and vital organs. The buildup of fat inside abdominal cavity can restrict the flow of blood to various organs, increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and dementia.
Lose belly fat naturally
By making positive changes in your lifestyle and eating habits, you can successfully shed excessive belly fat.
Here are some tips that help you shed the excess fat around the belly and other body parts:
- Exercise regularly – For best results, combine aerobic exercises with some strength training exercises.
- Sleep properly – Experts recommend seven hours of sleep each day.
- Eat healthy – Include wholesome foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet, and stay away from fatty or greasy foods.
Reducing excessive fat helps in normalizing the blood flow. Remember, the lack of blood flow to the brain leads to dementia and Alzheimer’s, so exercise daily to shed those extra pounds.
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Avoid Dementia and Memory Loss – Poor Oral Health: An Invitation to Dementia
Strong and healthy teeth not only keep your dental’s bill to minimum, but they also significantly reduce the risk of Dementia.
A new study conducted by Columbia University shows that poor oral health may contribute to the development of Dementia.
The researchers at Columbia University tested the memory capabilities of nearly 2,300 individuals of 60 and above. Tests were also conducted on these volunteers to diagnose periodontitis – an inflammatory disease that affects the periodontium, which are tissues that support and surround the teeth. Some of the volunteers were found to have periodontitis.
All of the volunteers were given various memory tests. It was found that individuals who recorded the maximum levels of periodontitis causing bacteria were 3 times more likely to have difficulty in remembering a three-word sequence in comparison to those who had healthy gums and teeth. Also, volunteers with high levels of periodontitis causing bacteria were two times less likely to pass a memory test that involved mental arithmetic.
The researchers believe that there is a link between poor dental health and diseases that involve memory loss, such as Dementia. Though, experts accept that more research needs to be done on this matter, they unanimously acknowledge the possibility of association between gum diseases and Dementia.
How gum diseases help in the development of Dementia
At present, experts do not have a definite answer. However, there are different theories on how gum diseases may contribute to the development of Dementia.
It is known that gum disease-causing bacteria damage the arteries, and damaged arteries are known to expedite the symptoms of dementia. It is also speculated that as gum disease-causing bacteria cause inflammation they may be indirectly contributing to Dementia. Inflammation is known to cause damage to arteries wall and decrease the blood carrying capacity of arteries. A poor flow of blood is the cause of many heart diseases, as well as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Want to avoid dementia and memory loss? Watch this video – What you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s | Lisa Genova
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