Long-term study: regular dancing = the most effective way of preventing dementia
Under the guidance of the Albert Einstein Academy of Medicine in New York, a long-term study was conducted over a period of 21 years with people aged 75 and over. The study was carried out with a view to determining if there are physical or mental leisure activities that have an impact on mental acuity. They discovered that some activities brought a significant improvement, while other activities did not bring any change. This was measured by the degrees of dementia in old age, including Alzheimer's diseases.
The study examined mental activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, solving crossword puzzles, playing cards and musical instruments. Furthermore, physical activities such as playing tennis or golf, swimming, cycling, dancing, walking as a type of exercise and housework were examined.
Surprisingly, it became apparent - with one exception - that almost none of the physical activities offered protection against dementia. It goes without saying that the physical activities in other areas provide significant benefits, such as the strengthening of the coronary arteries.
Regular dancing turned out to be the only physical activity that provides protection against dementia.
Some results of the study with the aim of reducing the risk of dementia:
Reading - minus 35 percent
Cycling and swimming - minus 0 percent
Solving crossword puzzles at least 4 days a week - minus 47 percent
Playing golf - minus 0 percent
Regular dancing - minus 76 percent
English scientists assume connection between certain medicinal products and dementia
The medicinal products are called anticholinergics; they block the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Neurotransmitters are messengers that transmit information between nerve cells. The messenger acetylcholine is necessary in the brain for memory, cognitive processes, (processing of information through perception), and for learning. Researchers have found that taking such medicinal products against depression, bladder diseases and Parkinson's increases the risk of developing dementia by 13 percent. Nevertheless, the scientists warn against an abrupt discontinuation of the products. The research findings were published in the English journal
„British Medical Journal“.
„British Medical Journal“.
Leipzig study on the connection between obesity and dementia
Over five research units and 10,000 randomly selected participants are involved in the LIFE adult study. One of the findings, i.e. that unemployment increases the risk of depression, is less surprising. Up to now, a possible connection between obesity and dementia was more controversial. And there is no certainty in this respect yet. The researchers of the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig have found that obesity reflects changes in the appetite-regulating brain region. It is not clear whether obesity is affecting the brain or whether the cause of obesity already exists in the brain.