About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us

Research Sheds Light on Link Between Lifestyle and Dementia

by Hannah Punitha on July 14, 2008 at 5:35 PM
 Research Sheds Light on Link Between Lifestyle and Dementia

A study conducted by Australian researchers has revealed that people who do not engage in complex mental activity over their lifetime have twice the shrinkage in a key part of the brain in old age.

Michael Valenzuela of the school of psychiatry at the University of NSW has revealed that the finding results from an analysis of the brain scans used during the study.


He says that the finding sheds more light on the link between lifestyle and dementia.

The results of the study also add strength to the evidence that mental exercises, like puzzles and new languages, stave off ageing diseases.

"We've got strong evidence here that people who use their brains more have less brain shrinkage," the Australian quoted Valenzuela as saying.

"I hope people take this as a further call to arms to get out there and use their brains, get engaged in anything from tai chi to world travel, in the knowledge that it may help delay or prevent the onset of dementia," he added.

Valenzuela and his colleagues wanted to determine how mental activity delayed the onset of the degenerative brain diseases, such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

For the purpose, they studied the brains of 60-year-olds over three years, and tested their lifetime mental agility with questionnaires.

The researchers discovered that, of the 50 subjects, people who had been more mentally active over their lives had a larger hippocampus, an important memory centre in the brain.

Among such subjects, the area shrank at half the rate of those who had lower mental activity over the period of three years.

"This is a significant finding because a small hippocampus is a specific risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Valenzuela.

Based on his observations, he came to the conclusion that people could prevent themselves from the shrinkage of the hippocampus.

"Our prior research shows the risk for dementia is quite malleable, even into late life," he said.

An article on the study has been published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Source: ANI
Font : A-A+



Recommended Readings

Latest Research News

Brain Circuits That Shape Bedtime Rituals in Mice
New study sheds light on the intrinsic, yet often overlooked, role of sleep preparation as a hardwired survival strategy.
NELL-1 Protein Aids to Reduce Bone Loss in Astronauts
Microgravity-induced bone loss in space, can be reduced by systemic delivery of NELL-1, a protein required for bone growth and its maintenance.
Connecting Genetic Variants to the Alzheimer's Puzzle
Researchers establish connections between Alzheimer's-linked genetic alterations and the functioning of brain cells.
Gene Therapy Sparks Spinal Cord Regeneration
Team at NeuroRestore introduces a groundbreaking gene therapy that has effectively promoted nerve regrowth and reconnection, post spinal cord injury.
Unlocking the Gut Microbiome's Influence on Bone Density
Scientists aim to pinpoint particular functional pathways affected by these bacteria that may have an impact on skeletal health.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot

Research Sheds Light on Link Between Lifestyle and Dementia Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests