Risk Reduction

Update: the role of a good night’s sleep in dementia risk reduction

New research has reiterated that a good night’s sleep may be one of the keys in reducing your risk of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers from UC Berkeley, USA published results in the Journal Nature Neuroscience which suggest that sleep deficit may be a channel through which amyloid beta proteins (a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease) are triggered and cause the onset of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.

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Could your Body Mass Index (BMI) be linked to dementia risk?

New research looking at close to 2 million UK medical health records has suggested that your BMI might be linked to dementia risk. The results reiterate that being underweight could increase your risk of dementia, as previously stated on the Alzheimer's Australia Your Brain Matters dementia risk reduction website.

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The MIND diet: another approach to dementia risk reduction

Dietary patterns have long been associated with decreasing cognitive decline and reducing your risk of dementia and researchers have now suggested that those who follow the MIND diet can lower their dementia risk by as much as 50%.

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Could dairy products have a positive effect on brain health?

Recent research has suggested that drinking milk and consuming other dairy products (such as cheese, yoghurt, cream etc) might have more benefits than just making your bones strong.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Centre, USA wanted to test the hypothesis of whether dairy food consumption is associated with increased levels of cerebral glutathione in older adults.

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Dementia risk reduction strategies prove beneficial for enhancing memory performance in older people

In one of the most comprehensive studies to date, researchers have shown that older adults who follow a healthy eating plan and undertake regular exercise and brain-training activities have enhanced memory performance, over those who don’t.

Referred to as the ‘FINGER’ study, it is the first large, long-term, and methodologically robust trial showing that multiple approaches can improve or maintain cognitive functioning and reduce the risk of cognitive decline among older individuals.

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Playing a musical instrument in later life a protective factor against dementia

Playing and learning a musical instrument has been shown to benefit cognitive development and health during younger life, but what about learning and playing an instrument as an adult?

Until now, the effect of playing an instrument as a leisure activity and dementia risk has not been thoroughly investigated. New research published in the International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggests that playing a musical instrument during adulthood is significantly associated with reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.

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Long term use of prescription anticholinergic medications linked to dementia risk

A study from the University of Washington has linked commonly-used anticholinergic medications, to dementia.  

So what are anticholinergic medications?

They can include medications such as hay fever tablets, sleeping pills, asthma drugs and anti-depressants. They are designed to block a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is involved in transmitting information between nerve cells.

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The latest research on computerised brain-training

There have been several media reports in recent weeks about the purported effects of brain training in reducing the risk of dementia. These stories beg the question – can exercising your brain keep Alzheimer’s disease away?

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