Taking a mental test at an early age could predict a person's risk of developing dementia, according to a new study
Researchers conducted the study on almost 502 British people when they were all eight-years-olds. Participants were then given the same tasks they took as children when they were in their 60s. The test included studying geometric shapes in various arrangements and then picking the missing piece. The team also gave them tasks to test their memory, attention,and language.
The results showed participants completed the tests in a similar way when they were children. The team is hopeful the findings may help to slow down cognitive decline as people get older.
"Finding these predictors is important because if we can understand what influences an individual's cognitive performance in later life, we can determine which aspects might be modifiable by education or lifestyle changes like exercise, diet or sleep, which may in turn slow the development of cognitive decline," study author Jonathan M. Schott of the University College London told a news portal.
Adding, "Our study found that small differences in thinking and memory associated with amyloid plaques in the brain are detectable in older adults even at an age when those who are destined to develop dementia are still likely to be many years away from having symptoms."
Schott further explained: "It also found that childhood cognitive skills, education and socioeconomic status all independently influence cognitive performance at age 70."
Alzheimer’s UK, a research charity organisation, states cardiovascular disease risk factors like high blood pressure and stroke are also risk factors of dementia. Therefore, protecting yourself from these health issues will be good for your brain and heart. “Looking after your health, cutting out smoking and being physically active on a regular basis will help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease," Alzheimer’s UK stated. Adding,“It’s likely you’ll be lowering your risk of dementia too, particularly vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”
Here are some of the early warning signs of dementia:
* Unable to concentrate
* Unable to carry out daily tasks
* Confused about time
* Change in mood
Another study found hearing aids could help reduce the risk of dementia. "We already know that people with hearing loss have more adverse health events, and more co-existing conditions, but this study allows us to see the effects of an intervention and look for associations between hearing aids and health outcomes," study lead author Elham Mahmoudi, MBA, Ph.D., the U-M Department of Family Medicine health economist, told a news portal. "Though hearing aids can't be said to prevent these conditions, a delay in the onset of dementia, depression and anxiety, and the risk of serious falls, could be significant
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