Dementia isn’t inevitable: Study finds which healthy habits offset risk

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That research, led by a team at the University of Exeter Medical School, showed that people with a high genetic risk of Alzheimer's were less likely to develop the disease if they pursued a healthy lifestyle.

Living a healthy lifestyle may help offset a person's genetic risk of dementia, according to new research.

After about eight years of study, 1.8 per cent of those with high genetic risk and poor lifestyles had developed dementia versus 0.6 per cent of those with low genetic risk and healthy habits.

Among those with the highest genetic risk, just over 1% of those with favorable lifestyles developed dementia, compared with almost 2% of those with poor lifestyles, the researchers found. Researchers from Rush University in IL say that eating healthy, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol consumption, engaging in mentally stimulating activities, and avoiding smoking could dramatically lower the chances of developing dementia, The Washington Post reported.

"This is the first study to analyze the extent to which you may offset your genetic risk of dementia by living a healthy lifestyle". Regardless of how much genetic risk someone had, a good diet, adequate exercise, limiting alcohol and not smoking made dementia less likely.

Dr David Llewellyn, who co-led the study at the University of Exeter, said: "This research delivers a really important message that undermines a fatalistic view of dementia".

While the new study's authors expected to see that leading a healthier life decreases the chance of dementia, they were floored by the "magnitude of the effect", said Klodian Dhana, a Rush University professor and co-author. Each genetic risk factor was weighted according to the strength of its association with the disease.

The UK Biobank study was long-term research of older individuals that tracks several factors that contribute to a range of diseases, which include heart disease, cancer, depression, and dementia.

Dr Maria Carrillo, chief science officer of the US Alzheimer's Association, which hosts the conference, said: 'While there is no proven cure or treatment for Alzheimer's, a large body of research now strongly suggests that combining healthy habits promotes good brain health and reduces your risk of cognitive decline'.

To assess genetic danger, the researchers checked out previously printed information and recognized all identified genetic danger factors for Alzheimer's disease.

Another showed healthy habits reduced dementia risk by 32% among those with a family history.

About 50 million folks have dementia, and Alzheimer's disease is the most common type.

Even though this research can not cure dementia or stop people from entirely developing it, it does spot patterns in order to help reduce the chances of catching the disease.

The researchers defined a favourable lifestyle as one which included regular exercise and a balanced diet with more than three portions of fruit and vegetables a day, two portions of fish per week and little processed meats.

UniSA was part of an global team that published the research on Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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