Researchers believe that dementia rates could triple in the next few decades. Triple! But you know what else is wild? The same researchers also think that a few simple lifestyle changes can slash the odds of developing dementia by 50 percent.
So dementia is on the rise, but it’s also more easily avoided than ever before? How does that work? And more importantly, what does that tell us about mainstream wellness in general?
Something is out of whack.
So sit back, relax, and let’s try to figure out what exactly is going on right now.
Worldwide, around 55 million people have dementia; but because modern medicine is extending lifespans, that figure is going to grow…a lot. “As the proportion of older people in the population is increasing in nearly every country, this number is expected to rise to 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050,” warns the World Health Organization.
A new study published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology has identified one specific activity that can boost brain health. But this isn’t some sort of wild treatment or expensive modality we’re talking about here. In fact, it’s not even really an activity, but rather a state of being, if that makes sense. So what’s this magical brain elixir neurologists discovered?
Do more leisurely things that make you happy and relaxed. Seriously, that’s it. That’s how you beat dementia, apparently.
Keeping dementia away is about keeping he brain sharp and healthy
“Previous studies have shown that leisure activities were associated with various health benefits, such as a lower cancer risk, a reduction of atrial fibrillation, and a person’s perception of their own well-being,” said study author Lin Lu, PhD, of Peking University Sixth Hospital in Beijing, China.
“However, there is conflicting evidence of the role of leisure activities in the prevention of dementia. Our research found that leisure activities like making crafts, playing sports or volunteering were linked to a reduced risk of dementia.”
The meta-analysis involved a review of 38 studies from around the world involving a total of more than two million people who did not have dementia. The participants were followed for at least three years, and their activities were split into categories of mental, physical, and social activities.
During the study, about 74,000 people developed dementia. From that data, researchers concluded that those who participated in leisure activities showed a reduced chance of developing the neurological disorder (by about 17 percent).
“Our research found that leisure activities may reduce the risk of dementia. Future studies should include larger sample sizes and longer follow-up time to reveal more links between leisure activities and dementia,” Lu said.
Doctor Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, agreed fundamentally with the findings.
“Our brains are incredible, responsible for our memory, as well as what we think, feel and do. Keeping our brains healthy as we age can help stave off diseases like Alzheimer’s, which physically attack brain cells, tearing away at the very essence of who we are,” she said. “Loving your heart, staying sharp and keeping connected with other people are three easy to follow rules to help keep your brain healthy as you age.”