Long Term Cogntion via a Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle can slow cognitive decline, even prevent Alzheimer’s.

A healthy lifestyle means maintaining regular physical activity (both aerobic and strength training) and managing classic cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity, smoking, a plant-based diet with little saturated fat, and avoiding high blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle also includes quality sleep.
A healthy lifestyle is advocated by 28 world-leading dementia experts.
A healthy lifestyle may prevent 30% to 40% of dementia.

Researchers found that verrucarin A, a secondary metabolite produced by the fungus Myrothecium spp., reduced the amounts of both amyloid β 42 and 40 in the reprogrammed cortical neurons.

This is a diagram from the study

The realization that microbiota can affect the brain came to light around the turn of the century. Credit: Kyoto University

“With further modification of its chemical structure, verrucarin A may have potential therapeutic benefit at reducing amyloid β,” said Kondo.

Another secondary metabolite, Mer-A2026A, produced by Streptomyces pactum, had different effects on the neurons depending on the dose.

“At moderate doses, Mer-A2026A reduced the amyloid β 42 and 40 levels, but at higher concentrations it increased the amyloid β 42 level. Therefore, it has a dual nature of risk and prevention in Alzheimer’s disease,” continued Kondo.

 

Alzheimer’s is not due to any one thing, so a mono-therapy is unlikely to be helpful. Pay attention to all aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

The Tsimane do this and they have 70% less brain atrophy. The prevalence of dementia in this cohort is among the lowest in the world. The Tsimane demonstrate next to no heart disease. They have minimal hypertension, low prevalence of obesity and and their cholesterol levels are relatively healthy. And those factors don’t seem to change with age. Also minimal is the incidence of Type-2 diabetes. Almost two-thirds of their calories are derived from complex carbohydrates, particularly plantains and rice. Another 16 percent comes from over 40 species of fish, and 6 percent from wild game. Tsimane adults average 17,000 or so steps per day, compared to Americans’ 5,100.

Lower levels of plaques and tangles, which means that it fights brain infection.
More gray matter in the elderly.
Vs. age-related memory loss (different than Alzheimer’s).

A study of 44 adults ranging in age from 40 to 85 (mean age: 62.6) with mild memory changes but no dementia underwent an experimental type of PET scan to measure the level of plaque and tangles in the brain. The study found that each one of several lifestyle factors: a healthy body mass index, physical activity and a Mediterranean diet, were linked to lower levels of plaques and tangles on the brain scans.

 Lifestyle measures that maintain or improve vascular health including consumption of healthy diets, moderate use of alcohol and implementing regular physical exercise in general appear effective for reducing dementia risk.

A healthy lifestyle works better than exercise alone.

Living a healthier lifestyle could also increase executive function, which is the ability to exert self-control, set and meet goals, resist temptation and solve problems.

When the person engaged in artistic activities in midlife or later in life the risk for MCI development was reduced by 73%, involvement in crafts reduced it by 45% and engagement in social activities by 55%. In a surprise finding the use of a computer late in life was associated with a 53% reduction in MCI development.
A healthy lifestyle works even in genetically susceptible people. despite a family history of dementia.
This is important even for young people.
A healthy lifestyle is especially important for black people.

By Otto

I am a health enthusiast, engineer, and maker.

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