To combat Alzheimer's disease, diet and lifestyle changes are necessary, show new studies

To combat Alzheimer's disease, diet and lifestyle changes are necessary, show new studies

There are several ailments, especially neurological ones, that have no specific cure and researches are going on to find remedies for these. One such example is Alzheimer's disease. So far medications have not brought effective relief to prevent its onset but new studies show making changes to diet and lifestyle can be effective to slow down its progression. Case Western Reserve University’s neurologist Alan Lerner says, "Health doesn't always come in the form of a pill”, supporting the increasing body of research.

A new study carried out at Finland shows combination of exercising, eating well, managing obesity and diabetes can help a person fighting dementia. The study finding was unveiled at Denmark’s Alzheimer's Association International Conference.

Dr. Miia Kivipelto associated with Sweden’s Karolinska Institute led the study. In this study, 1,260 Finnish candidates in their sixties and seventies were included. These candidates were chosen as they were vulnerable to develop dementia. They were divided in two sections. A group was asked to adhere to 4 healthy lifestyle factors while the other group was exposed to standard healthcare. After two years, it was found that the group that took care of 4 healthy lifestyle factors showed improvement in memory and cognitive abilities compared to the second group. They will be observed for other 7 years to find out if the benefits sustain.

Kivipelto said, “We were surprised that were able to see a clear difference already after two years. We thought that two years may not be enough, but the multi-domain approach seems to be an effective way of doing something to protect memory.” However, she agreed that for some elderly people genetic factor can be important in fighting cognitive decline.

Healthcare experts agree with the findings of these studies largely. Scottsdale Mayo Clinic’s professor of neurology Yonas Geda says, "The routine things, the things that are simple, have turned out to be protective. It keeps going back to the old advice from grandma." He was not involved in the Finnish study though.

Geda and his team have shown previously people in their late years who take part in various social and mental activities like walking, reading books, playing piano can combat memory loss related issues better. Eating in moderations is also important in this context. Geda said while speaking on the study findings, "This is really good news to society. Physical activity and mental activities are accessible to all people."