Under the Hood

Effective Ways To Enhance Memory

Our habits shape us as human beings. More specifically, they shape our cognitive abilities and help us retain and process information as we age gracefully. A good case in point is the high cholesterol diet shown to amplify the formation of protein clusters found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, proven by a research published last year in the Annals of Neurology.

A recent article, published by Harvard Health Publishing, elucidates the various changes one can make early in life to keep  memory power intact. These factors are highlighted below.    

Aerobic Exercise

A study by the Center for Health Studies in Seattle, Washington, analyzed 1,740 participants older than 65 who did not show cognitive impairment. They were followed for about six years and two months. From them, 150 developed dementia and 107 developed Alzheimer’s. 

The result of the study pointed out that regular exercise brought down risk of dementia and Alzheimher’s. It read, “The incidence rate of dementia was 13.0 per 1000 person-years for participants who exercised 3 or more times per week compared with 19.7 per 1000 person-years for those who exercised fewer than 3 times per week.’’

Mediterranean Diet

A diet high in unsaturated foods can preserve memory. Studies have shown links between consuming the Mediterannean diet and lower rates of dementia, as well as mild cognitive impairment. Fish, the main component of the diet, has been linked to lowering beta-amyloid proteins in the circulatory system. 

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and olive oil could improve cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of suffering a stroke that could potentially damage memory. Mild alcohol consumption could lower insulin resistance, linked to the development of dementia since alcohol increases good cholesterol or HDL.  

Social And Positive Attitude

Research in the past has illustrated that people in the older age bracket who have a positive outlook and routinely engage themselves in social activities are more capable of keeping their cognitive abilities intact. 

However, older individuals who lead socially isolated lives with a negative outlook and tend to shy away from learning new things show a faster decline in cognitive function.  

Mentally Stimulating Activities

A study conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic on 2,000 older adults showed that engaging in two to five mentally stimulating activities reduced risk of developing mild cognitive impairment. The more activities they immersed themselves in, the better. 

brain Estimates show dementia affects 50 million people across the world, a figure expected to triple by 2050. Pixabay