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Physical Activity, Lifestyle Factors, And Nutrition: Preventing Cognitive Decline And Dementia

 Sep 23, 2022

Our world is getting older. Most people in the globe today may anticipate living above 60 years of age, and according to demographic data, 50 percent of children who were alive in 2010 in the countries with the greatest life expectancies would be centenarians. The large number of people who would be afflicted by age-associated cognitive decline, which is a major cause of disability worldwide, could cast a cloud over this bright scenario. In the entire world, there are about 47 million people with dementia, and there are an estimated 8 million new cases diagnosed every year. Vascular dementia,  Alzheimer's disease (AD), and mixed forms are the three most prevalent causes of dementia.

There is now no efficient medication that can considerably alter dementia's progression. Clinical signs, which are most common in the elderly, appear to precede brain degenerative alterations by a significant amount of time. This gives a lot of time to deploy prevention measures that effectively postpone dementia and age-related cognitive decline, two serious public health issues. A systematic review of 51 clinical studies/trials found no convincing evidence to suggest that pharmacological therapies (such as anti-inflammatory drugs, estrogen/progestin supplementation, antihypertensives, antidiabetics, and dementia medications) can prevent cognitive decline in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or preserved cognitive function.

The evidence for cognitive training, which was evaluated in a systematic review of eleven trials, and for exercise, which was investigated in a systematic review of sixteen trials, is still insufficient. On the other hand, a multidomain intervention involving dietary changes, cognitive training, and physical activity showed considerable improvements in a number of cognitive outcomes.

In recent decades, there has been an increase in interest in dietary and nutritional factors as potential modifiable factors for delaying the onset and severity of age-related cognitive function degradation. In actuality, one important risk factor appears to be a poor diet. It was suggested by from the results that AD rates increased from 1% in 1985 to 7% in 2008 as a result of Japan's nutrition transition from the traditional Japanese diet to the Western diet.



Numerous minerals, micronutrients, and vitamins as well as elements of neuronal membranes, such as dietary essential fatty acids, have been examined for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on cognitive performance. Numerous studies on single or multi-component supplements raise biological plausibility but do not provide conclusive proof of their effects on cognition. With the belief that combinations of foods and nutrients can have synergistic and/or antagonistic effects beyond the scope of single components, nutrition research has recently shifted from concentrating emphasis just on specific nutrients and foods to exploring dietary patterns.

According to estimates, increasing physical exercise could prevent roughly 3% of all occurrences of dementia. A group of researches and their study results research has also shown the value of exercise and physical activity in preventing dementia's degenerative process and its effects.