This is an article from Hook Law Center (www.hooklawcenter.com) in Virginia Beach, Virginia, that we thought others may find helpful.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) have recently published a report which indicates that it may be possible to prevent dementia and age-related cognitive decline. Just seven years ago, scientists were unwilling to recommend or endorse any interventions, but the most recent findings are encouraging.
The three strategies recommended for preventing dementia and cognitive decline are being physically active, engaging in cognitive training (education, mental stimulation, and cognitive exercises), and controlling high blood pressure. There are other strategies warranting research – engaging in social activities, getting adequate sleep, maintaining a healthful diet, and managing depression, for example – but more research is required before they may be formally recommended.
The NAS report indicates that the three recommended strategies have been found to work in some situations, but not others. For example, cognitive training and physical activity were found to have the potential to delay age-related cognitive decline, but not dementia; and the only strategy identified as a potential way to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease is managing high blood pressure, although this strategy appears to have no impact on age-related cognitive decline.
These findings are encouraging, although more research is required before we can fully understand the causes of and potential interventions for dementia and age-related cognitive decline. Because the biological changes associated with some types of dementia begin ten years or more before any symptoms appear, individuals can lower their risk by making healthy lifestyle changes early – as early as when individuals reach their 40s. Furthermore, because Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often have several causes, scientists recommend individuals implement several different strategies to prevent or reduce age-related cognitive decline or dementia, not just one.