More recent Alzheimer’s Disease studies have revealed some astounding new information about brain degeneration and dementia to shed some light on the foundations for this tragic, old-age condition. For example, we now know that, while Alzheimer’s Disease is a condition which affects those of advanced ages, signs of cognitive decline related to dementia—and Alzheimer’s Disease, in particular—can begin as early as a person’s 20’s.
A new study also indicates that significant weight loss, later in life, might be a sign of pending Alzheimer’s Disease onset. This data is still new so the association between body weight and dementia is not yet understood.
Still Alzheimer’s Society head of research, Dr James Pickett, notes that “We know that making positive lifestyle choices can help people keep their brains healthy – taking regular exercise, not smoking and following a healthy balanced diet. It is not unusual for people to lose weight as they get older, but anyone concerned about large, unintentional weight loss should speak to their doctor.”
More simply, Dr Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Research UK, suggests, “This study highlights a possible link between weight changes in the decades after middle age and the risk of developing memory and thinking problems that can precede dementia.”
She also describes that, for example, weight loss might not simply be a symptom of dementia but could be the result of early damage in the brain from other conditions; so the link is not necessarily causative, at least for now.
Still, she advises, “Maintaining a healthy weight at any point of life can have health benefits, including helping to control dementia risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure.”
And that leads to another dementia study which furthers the long-time belief that consuming ocean fish can help fend off the condition.
Martha Clare Morris of Rush University Medical Center comments, “Seafood is touted for its many health benefits.” The lead study author goes on to say, “A large number of studies have shown that it slows cognitive decline with aging and reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”
So, these two studies—while not related—seem to imply that increasing consumption of ocean fish and maintaining a healthy weight could, hopefully, prevent cognitive decline.
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