How to live longer: The diet associated with ‘better memory’ in older age – key foods
Alzheimer's: Dr Chris discusses the early signs of condition
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One example is the Mediterranean diet.
Focussing on fruits, vegetables, fish, wholegrains, and legumes, as well as nuts and oils, the Mediterranean diet is a popular option for millions.
Some studies have recently found the Mediterranean diet can lead to improved neurological health in older age.
A study conducted in 2021 by the German Centre for Neurological diseases concluded the diet could act “as a protective factor against memory decline” and was associated with “better memory” in patients in older age groups.
The Mediterranean diet was also associated with lower plaque accumulation in the brain.
One of the main causes of dementia is the build up a type of plaque known as amyloid-beta.
Furthermore, it was found due to the improved memory associated with the Mediterranean diet, individuals were more likely to stick to it in the long term.
This is a positive step forward concerning preventative measures the population can take to reduce their risk of dementia.
Although this research is positive, further analysis of the diet is required before a definitive conclusion can be drawn on the potency of the Mediterranean diet in reducing the risk of dementia, the UK’s biggest killer.
Every year, around 67,000 people die from one form of the disease; the equivalent of the London Olympic Stadium plus 7,000 seat-less fans.
However, the cost is greater than that, as each person in that stadium has a family and each family has suffered years of suffering in the build-up to the ultimate loss.
Dementia is particularly painful as the patient suffers not one, but two deaths.
The second death is that of the body, when the patient dies.
However, the first death almost, if not more painful, the death of the mind; that point where neither side can recognise the person they once loved, held, hugged, or adored.
It is for this reason, and the growing number of dementia patients, that scientists are hard at work to develop new treatments and a cure for dementia.
While there are treatments to slow the progress of dementia, they are for the most part ineffective; they give patients and their loved ones days rather than months.
In response to the growing number of people with dementia, statistics say one in three born today will suffer from the disease, the Health Secretary has announced the government is developing a dementia action plan.
However, this plan needs funds and the government recently abandoned plans to double funding for dementia research, instead deciding to cut it.
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