The study assessed the effects on brain function and understand some of the most important risk factors associated with age-related dementia, such as high body-mass index and heart health. It involved 1,260 old people (aged 60-77 years) from across Finland deemed to be at risk for dementia, with one half randomly allocated to the intervention group, and the other allocated to a control group that received regular health advice only.
Two years later, the study participants' mental function was scored using the Neuropsychological Test Battery (NTB), where a higher score corresponds to better mental functioning. It was seen that the overall test score in the intervention group was 25% higher than in the control group. For some parts of the test, the difference between the two groups was even more striking. Executive functioning was 83% higher and processing speed was 150% higher in the intervention group.
The study has been published in The Lancet.