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Dementia breakthrough: 3 ‘easy’ tips that could reduce risk by up to 50% – major new study – Express

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Worldwide, about 55 million people have dementia, with more than 60 percent living in low- and middle-income countries. “As the proportion of older people in the population increases in almost every country, this number is expected to rise to 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050,” warns the World Health Organization. Interventions aimed at reversing this trend are desperately needed. Fortunately, research continues to find them.

A new study published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology has identified three activities that can boost brain health.

The meta-analysis concludes leisure activities, such as reading a book, doing yoga and spending time with family and friends, can help reduce the risk of dementia.

“Previous studies have shown that leisure activities were associated with various health benefits, such as a lower cancer risk, a reduction in atrial fibrillation, and a person’s perception of their own well-being,” said study author Lin Lu, PhD, of Peking University Sixth Hospital in Beijing. , China.

“However, there is conflicting evidence for the role of leisure in the prevention of dementia. Our research showed that leisure activities such as making crafts, playing sports or volunteering were linked to a reduced risk of dementia.

READ MORE: Dementia: The ‘sneaky’ ingredient linked to memory problems – eaten by millions of Brits

The meta-analysis included a review of 38 studies from around the world involving a total of more than two million people who did not have dementia. The participants were followed for at least three years.

Participants provided information about their leisure activities through questionnaires or interviews. Leisure activities were defined as those in which people engage for pleasure or well-being and were divided into mental, physical and social activities.

What did the researchers learn?

During the studies, 74,700 people developed dementia.

After adjusting for factors such as age, sex and education, researchers found that leisure time overall was linked to a reduced risk of dementia.

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Those who engaged in leisure activities had a 17 percent lower risk of developing dementia than those who did not engage in leisure activities.

Mental activity consisted mainly of intellectual activities and included reading or writing for fun, watching television, listening to the radio, playing games or musical instruments, using a computer and doing crafts.

Researchers found that people who participated in these activities had a 23 percent lower risk of dementia.

Physical activities included walking, running, swimming, cycling, using exercise machines, playing sports, yoga and dancing.

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Researchers found that people who participated in these activities had a 17 percent lower risk of dementia.

Social activities mainly referred to activities that involved communication with others and included attending a class, joining a social club, volunteering, visiting with relatives or friends, or attending religious activities.

Researchers found that people who participated in these activities had a seven percent lower risk of dementia.

“This meta-analysis suggests that being active has benefits, and there are plenty of activities that are easy to incorporate into daily life that can be beneficial for the brain,” Professor Lu said.

“Our research found that leisure can reduce the risk of dementia. Future studies should include larger sample sizes and longer follow-up time to show more links between leisure activities and dementia.

A limitation of the study was that people reported their own physical and mental activity, so they may not have correctly remembered and reported the activities.

Speaking about the link between leisure activity and dementia, Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Our brains are incredible, responsible for our memory, as well as what we think, feel and do. Keeping our brains healthy as we age can help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, which physically attack brain cells, and the essence of who’ t we are torn apart.

“Previous research has suggested that staying sharp by keeping the brain mentally active can help boost the brain’s ability to resist damage from diseases like Alzheimer’s for longer. There is no conclusive evidence that certain brain training programs or activities that’ t are especially good for staying sharp, but activities that are mentally challenging, social and also enjoyable are probably better for the brain than spending time alone or engaging in passive hobbies.

“Keeping your heart, staying sharp, and connecting with other people are three easy-to-follow rules for keeping your brain healthy as you age. Visit www.thinkbrainhealth.org.uk to find information and advice about brain health.”


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