Healthy lifestyle may prevent cognitive decline

Healthy lifestyle may prevent cognitive declineRecent studies have found that metabolic disorders, which in many cases may be prevented or minimized by healthy lifestyle choices, share risk factors with neurodegenerative diseases.

In particular, the reports which appeared in the March issue of Archives of Neurology have pointed to a link between obesity and high blood sugar level and various forms of dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease.

For example, one study found that women with metabolic syndrome had a 7.2 percent chance of developing cognitive decline over a four-year period compared to 4.1 percent in those who did not have it.

What is more, each additional component of the syndrome – such as abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol levels – was associated with a 23 percent increase in risk.

“As the obesity and sedentary lifestyle epidemic escalates throughout the world, identification of the role of these modifiable behaviors in increasing risk for development of cognitive impairment is critical,” concluded the authors of the study conducted at the University of California at San Francisco.

High blood sugar can be controlled or prevented through a diet rich in fish and fresh vegetables and low in processed foods and sweets. Obesity, on the other hand, may be effectively remedied with exercise or other forms of physical activity.