According to a recent study, maintaining healthy lifestyles and eating a balanced diet could help prevent memory loss as people age. In addition, healthy lifestyles also benefit people with a genotype that predisposes them to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to a ten-year study of Chinese persons over 60.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene carriers, the largest recognized risk factor for AD and other forms of dementia, experienced a reduction in their cognitive decline after changing their behavior, such as giving up alcohol.
APOE gene carriers saw a reduction in cognitive decline after a lifestyle change
Given the numerous possible explanations of memory loss, the researchers think that the greatest results may require a mix of many healthy practices. The researchers examined data on 29,000 persons over 60. At the beginning of the research, this cohort had an average lifespan of 72 and was in good cognitive health.
In 2009, experts used an Auditory Verbal Learning exam to evaluate memory performance. Also, the APOE gene test was performed on the participants, and the results revealed that 20% of them possessed the Alzheimer’s gene.
The researchers then developed a healthy lifestyle rating that considered six aspects: a balanced diet, frequent exercise, engaging in social activities, quitting smoking, and not consuming alcohol. Results indicate that each distinct healthy activity was linked to a slower-than-average memory deterioration across ten years after controlling for additional health, social and economic factors. In particular, the study discovers that a balanced diet, accompanied by physical and cognitive activity, has the largest influence on decreasing memory impairment.
Healthy lifestyles slow cognitive decline
Compared with people who have unfavorable lifestyles, APOE gene carriers with acceptable and average lives continued to exhibit a slower memory loss rate. Also, compared to those with poor lifestyles, those with average or favorable lifestyles were respectively 30% and 90% less likely to suffer from dementia or moderate cognitive decline.
While noting that memory issues can also impact younger folks, the researchers propose that future research should concentrate on the benefits of healthy lifestyles on memory deterioration across the lifetime.