New research is advancing ways to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“A healthy mind in a healthy body,” as Juvenal wrote. It seems that the author of these lines is correct, because according to a new study (which confirms other studies already published on the subject), adopting a healthy lifestyle would help lower the risk of developing this mental disorder. According to the researchers, people with increased genetic risk and a lifestyle that was not healthy were three times more likely to develop the disease within 8 years compared to people with lower genetic risk and leading a healthy life.
According to Elzbieta Kuzma, a researcher in epidemiological neurology at Exeter Medical University in England, this is the first comprehensive study to understand whether a healthy lifestyle balances the genetic risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease. ” Although our study does not prove a causal relationship, the message is very optimistic, as our results indicate that living a healthy life was associated with a lower risk of dementia, regardless of genetic risk (…) this suggests that a healthy lifestyle can prevent or delay dementia, even in people with high genetic risk.”
How was the study done?
The study was presented at the International Conference of the Alzheimer’s Association 2019, and it was also published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers relied on the UK Biobank database of 500,000 volunteers. They used data from 196,383 individuals aged about 60, of whom 52.7% were women whose genetic information was available and who had not developed dementia.
The scientists then categorized the subjects according to their genetic information, of little risk to a greater risk of developing the disease of Alzheimer’s. Researchers also created a scale to categorize the lifestyle of participants based on their questionnaire responses for sport, tobacco, alcohol, and physical activity.
Alzheimer’s in numbers
This disease affects 35.6 million people worldwide. 7.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year worldwide and 225,000 in France. And the forecasts are not optimistic. According to WHO, the number of patients should double every 20 years to reach 115.5 million in 2050. These are alarming figures that should make us aware of the evolution of this pathology that remains poorly understood.
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