Preventing mental decline in the aged

by Medindia Content Team on  July 26, 2002 at 4:40 PM General Health News
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Preventing mental decline in the aged
According to a new study, it has been found that there are ways to keep your mental abilities sharp as you age. Mental decline is not a specific part of life. The older population is growing rapidly and people are typically living longer. The ability to know, think, learn and judge, known as cognitive ability, is essential to quality of life and survival in older ages. Researchers from the Institute for the Study of Aging in New York looked at research that focuses on various lifestyle factors and medical conditions that affect seniors and their cognitive ability.

Researchers report most factors are potentially modifiable or manageable. For example, studies show that lifelong learning, mental and physical exercise, continuing social engagement, stress reduction, and proper nutrition may be important factors when it comes to cognitive vitality in the aging.

Another area that could help seniors keep their cognitive ability is therapeutic strategies. Researchers say antioxidants and anti-inflammatories may eventually prove useful in the prevention and treatment of cognitive decline in the aging.

The study also shows medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, or excess fats in the blood, can contribute to mental decline in older people. Drinking too much alcohol or smoking may also promote cognitive decline and avoiding these activities could help an older person maintain cognitive ability.

Researchers conclude cognitive vitality is crucial to optimal aging. They say clear data is now beginning to show scientific basis for achieving and maintaining cognitive vitality in later life.


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