This Positive Belief Aids Recovery From Mild Cognitive Impairment (M)

Half of all people with mild cognitive impairment do recover.

Half of all people with mild cognitive impairment do recover.

Keep reading with a Premium Membership

• Read members-only and premium articles
• Access courses
• Adverts removed
• Cancel at any time
• 14 day money-back guarantee for new members

The Clear Sign That You Will NOT Develop Dementia

Risk of developing dementia is one-third lower.

Risk of developing dementia is one-third lower.

Memory often worsens with age — it is a normal part of the aging process.

But, when do mild memory problems signal the onset of Alzheimer’s?

Ironically, people who realise their memory is getting worse are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, research finds.

Self-awareness, then, is a healthy sign.

Doctors have long suspected that people who seem unaware of their memory problems are at higher risk of dementia, but this is one of the first studies to demonstrate it.

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, looked at data from 450 patients experiencing mild memory deficits.

The patients’ experience of their own memory was compared with the objective views of friends and family.

Patients unaware of their memory problems turned out to be in worse shape neurologically: they had metabolic dysfunction in their brains and more amyloid proteins (these are linked to Alzheimer’s).

Two years later, patients who were more unaware of their memory problems were at triple the risk of developing dementia.

Dr Serge Gauthier, study co-author, said:

“This has practical applications for clinicians: people with mild memory complaints should have an assessment that takes into account information gathered from reliable informants, such as family members or close friends.”

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Therriault et al., 2018).

The Musical Way To Fight Brain Shrinkage & Increases Cognitive Reserves (M)

With age it is natural for the brain’s plasticity to reduce and there is also a loss of gray matter as it shrinks in size — but the process can be slowed.

With age it is natural for the brain's plasticity to reduce and there is also a loss of gray matter as it shrinks in size -- but the process can be slowed.

Keep reading with a Premium Membership

• Read members-only and premium articles
• Access courses
• Adverts removed
• Cancel at any time
• 14 day money-back guarantee for new members

High Blood Pressure Damages These Critical Brain Regions (M)

High blood pressure is thought to affect almost one-in-three people around the world, with a further third at risk.

High blood pressure is thought to affect almost one-in-three people around the world, with a further third at risk.

Keep reading with a Premium Membership

• Read members-only and premium articles
• Access courses
• Adverts removed
• Cancel at any time
• 14 day money-back guarantee for new members

Pulsating Arteries Wash Away Alzheimer’s Toxins During Sleep (M)

Pulsating arteries wash away harmful waste products that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases at night.

Pulsating arteries wash away harmful waste products that are linked to Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases at night.

Keep reading with a Premium Membership

• Read members-only and premium articles
• Access courses
• Adverts removed
• Cancel at any time
• 14 day money-back guarantee for new members

The Foods That May Stop Your Brain From Shrinking

The number of people diagnosed with dementia is expected to almost triple over the next three decades.

The number of people diagnosed with dementia is expected to almost triple over the next three decades.

Magnesium-rich foods like nuts and spinach may help reduce the risk of dementia, research finds.

People with higher intakes of magnesium had lower levels of brain shrinkage and aging.

The study included over 6,000 people in the UK who completed a survey of their food intake over 16 months.

Those who ate more magnesium-rich foods — including seeds and wholegrains, leafy green vegetables and legumes — had a younger brain age, the researchers found.

Ms Khawlah Alateeq, the study’s first author, said:

“Our study shows a 41 percent increase in magnesium intake could lead to less age-related brain shrinkage, which is associated with better cognitive function and lower risk or delayed onset of dementia in later life.

This research highlights the potential benefits of a diet high in magnesium and the role it plays in promoting good brain health.”

Increasing magnesium intake from an average of 350 milligrams per day to 550 milligrams was linked to a reduction in brain age of one year at age 55.

Foods that are magnesium-rich include:

  • peanuts
  • cashews
  • chia seeds
  • black beans
  • potatoes
  • brown rice
  • yogurt
  • oatmeal
  • milk

Dr Erin Walsh, study co-author, said:

“Since there is no cure for dementia and the development of pharmacological treatments have been unsuccessful for the past 30 years, it’s been suggested that greater attention should be directed towards prevention.

Our research could inform the development of public health interventions aimed at promoting healthy brain aging through dietary strategies.”

The number of people diagnosed with dementia is expected to almost triple over the next three decades — partly due to an aging population, as well as unhealthy lifestyles.

Ms Alateeq said:

“The study shows higher dietary magnesium intake may contribute to neuroprotection earlier in the aging process and preventative effects may begin in our 40s or even earlier.

This means people of all ages should be paying closer attention to their magnesium intake.

We also found the neuroprotective effects of more dietary magnesium appears to benefit women more than men and more so in post-menopausal than pre-menopausal women, although this may be due to the anti-inflammatory effect of magnesium.”

Note that the study did not test the effects of magnesium supplements, rather it examined how much magnesium people were getting from the foods they were already eating.

Getting the right micronutrients from natural foods is usually better than supplementation.

Related

The study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition (Alateeq et al., 2023).

The Popular Supplement That Does NOT Protect Against Dementia

The results are based on a review of over 70 different studies.

The results are based on a review of over 70 different studies.

Vitamin D probably does not help protect people from dementia or other brain-related disorders, research finds.

While vitamin D is essential for the body, there is no solid clinical evidence that it benefits brain health.

Ms Krystal Iacopetta, the study’s first author, said:

“Our work counters an emerging belief held in some quarters suggesting that higher levels of vitamin D can impact positively on brain health.”

The results are based on a review of over 70 different studies.

There was no evidence vitamin D protected against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other brain diseases.

Ms Iacopetta said:

“Past studies had found that patients with a neurodegenerative disease tended to have lower levels of vitamin D compared to healthy members of the population.

This led to the hypothesis that increasing vitamin D levels, either through more UV and sun exposure or by taking vitamin D supplements, could potentially have a positive impact.

A widely held community belief is that these supplements could reduce the risk of developing brain-related disorders or limit their progression.

The results of our in-depth review and an analysis of all the scientific literature however, indicates that this is not the case and that there is no convincing evidence supporting vitamin D as a protective agent for the brain.”

However, there may be evidence that sunlight is good for the brain.

Professor Mark Hutchinson, study co-author, explained:

“We have presented critical evidence that UV light may impact molecular processes in the brain in a manner that has absolutely nothing to do with vitamin D.

It may be that sensible and safe sun exposure is good for the brain and that there are new and exciting factors at play that we have yet to identify and measure.

Unfortunately however, it appears as if vitamin D, although essential for healthy living, is not going to be the miracle ‘sunshine tablet’ solution for brain-disorders that some were actively hoping for.”

The study was published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience (Iacopetta et al., 2018).

3 Tablespoons Of This Oil Improves Memory (M)

The oil is high in an antioxidant organic compound found in some of the healthiest foods in the human diet.

The oil is high in an antioxidant organic compound found in some of the healthiest foods in the human diet.

Keep reading with a Premium Membership

• Read members-only and premium articles
• Access courses
• Adverts removed
• Cancel at any time
• 14 day money-back guarantee for new members

This Beverage Reversed Normal Age-Related Memory Loss in Three Months

Drinking this could reduce your brain age twenty years in just three months.

Drinking this could reduce your brain age twenty years in just three months.

Cocoa flavanoids — like those contained in a cup of cocoa — can reverse age-related memory loss in older adults, a study finds.

This is the first direct evidence that an important component of memory decline that comes with age can be improved with a simple dietary change.

Typically, normal age-related memory declines are noticeable to people in their fifties and sixties: things like forgetting where the keys are or having trouble recalling a name or word.

These changes are much less severe than those which typically occur as a result of devastating dementias like Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, published in Nature Neuroscience, found a high-flavanol diet could restore aspects of older people’s memory back to that of a typical 30- or 40-year-old (Brickman et al., 2014).

The changes were clearly visible in brain scans, as Dr. Adam M. Brickman, the study’s lead author explained:

“When we imaged our research subjects’ brains, we found noticeable improvements in the function of the dentate gyrus in those who consumed the high-cocoa-flavanol drink.”

The image below shows the dentate gyrus in green (this is part of the hippocampus).

Previous research has shown that it is changes in this area of the brain that are associated with normal age-related memory loss.

dentate_gyrus

Participants in the study were 37 healthy people aged between 50 and 69.

They were randomised into two groups, one of which was given a high-flavanol diet (900mg of flavanols per day) and the other given a low-flavanol diet (10mg per day).

At the end of the three-month period of the study, participants on the high-flavanoid diet showed improvements on memory tests.

Professor Scott A. Small, one of the study’s authors, explained the results:

“If a participant had the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, after three months that person on average had the memory of a typical 30- or 40-year-old.”

Flavanols are also found in tea leaves, and certain fruits and vegetables, although the exact amounts and forms vary widely.

The researchers cautioned that people should not eat more chocolate as the critical flavanoids are not present at the required levels — the dietary supplement used in the study was specially formulated.

Image credit: Lab of Scott A. Small, M.D.

This Little-Known Sign Of Dementia Is Often Overlooked

This symptom of dementia is often overlooked, but very damaging.

This symptom of dementia is often overlooked, but very damaging.

Apathy is the most forgotten symptom of dementia and has a greater impact than memory loss, research concludes.

Nearly half of all people with dementia are apathetic: being highly indifferent, passive, unconcerned and lacking in enthusiasm.

People who are apathetic tend to feel little motivation, passion or excitement in life.

Apathy is linked to worse clinical symptoms and, naturally, is very distressing for families.

Apathy is distinct from depression, the researchers found, with some people with dementia not necessarily feeling down.

Apathy tends to be ignored as it is not a disruptive state, said Mr Miguel Vasconcelos Da Silva, study co-author:

“Apathy is an under-researched and often ignored symptom of dementia.

It can be overlooked because people with apathy seem less disruptive and less engaging, but it has a huge impact on the quality of life of people living with dementia, and their families.

Where people withdraw from activities, it can accelerate cognitive decline and we know that there are higher mortality rates in people with apathy.

It’s now time this symptom was recognised and prioritised in research and understanding.”

The conclusions come from an analysis of 4,320 people with Alzheimer’s disease included in 20 separate studies.

The results showed that 45 percent were apathetic at first, while 20 percent remained that way over time.

Professor Clive Ballard, study co-author, said:

“Apathy is the forgotten symptom of dementia, yet it can have devastating consequences.

Our research shows just how common apathy is in people with dementia, and we now need to understand it better so we can find effective new treatments.

Our WHELD study to improve care home staff training through personalised care and social interaction included an exercise programme that improved apathy, so we know we can make a difference.

This is a real opportunity for interventions that could significantly benefit thousands of people with dementia. “

The study was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Los Angeles (Da Silva, 2019).

Get free email updates

Join the free PsyBlog mailing list. No spam, ever.