memory loss: 2017 studies of note


Drinking at least one artificially sweetened beverage daily was associated with almost three times the risk of developing a stroke or dementia. Responding to the research, Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘This research does not show that artificially sweetened drinks cause dementia. But it does highlight a worrying association that requires further investigation.


Aerobic and resistance exercises can improve thinking skills of the over 50s, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, and led by University of Canberra researchers. Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘The benefits of regular exercise to keep a sharp mind are becoming clearer. Previous studies show that people who exercise are less likely to develop dementia, but more research is needed to find out exactly what type and how much exercise is best to help reduce your risk of the condition.’


A study by the University of Tel Aviv has found that resistance to insulin may be linked to an increase in cognitive decline. Published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the research finds that insulin resistance, caused in part by obesity and physical inactivity, is also linked to a more rapid decline in cognitive performance. The researchers say that both the diabetic and non-diabetic participants in the 20-year trial, all of whom have insulin resistance, experienced accelerated cognitive decline in executive function and memory.


A new study shows that older people who followed a Mediterranean diet (rich in oily fish, fresh veggies and nuts) retained more brain volume over a three-year period than those who did not follow the diet as closely. They cannot yet say whether the diet PREVENTS dementia. (source: January 4, 2017 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology)

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