So far this week, two different studies on dementia risk factors have emerged in popular publications. Currently, the medical world is probing this cognitive condition trying to come up with effective ways to address its symptoms and find effective remedies. This week’s studies and others that will be mentioned below hold much importance. Carlton Senior Living, which has a strong presence in Northern California, offers memory care in five of its nine senior living communities. Therefore it brings to readers the latest from the field of dementia and Alzheimer’s research.
Obesity and dementia
Inserm, a leading French research institute, conducted a study of almost 6,500 British civil servants with an average age of 50 years, and came up with some concrete findings. The study spanned ten years trying to find if there, in fact, exists a link between mental health and poor diet.
Of the respondents categorized as ‘obese’, most were not only suffering from conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol, but also found to have experienced a mental decline over the years of close to 23%.
Inserm scientists said that obesity could affect blood flow to the brain, and this in turn can enhance the risk of vascular dementia. They concluded that putting on the pounds can be as bad for the head as it is for the heart. The scientists also added that lifestyle choices like regular exercise and kicking the cigarette butt, can postpone or even prevent the onset of dementia.
Dental health and dementia
A University of California study investigated the dental health of the residents of a retirement community between 1992 and 2010. The report found the following – oral health habits can have a say in whether or not an individual is likely to suffer from dementia. Of the data collected from 5,500 respondents (with an average age of 81), the study found the following:
78 women, who admitted they’d brushed their teeth fewer than once a day in 1992, developed dementia by 2001
Of those who brushed once a day, one out of every 4.5 contracted dementia. This means irregular brushers may have a 65% higher chance of developing this condition!
The results were a bit different among the men. Among irregular brushers, one in six developed dementia, pointing to a 22% greater likelihood in comparison to those who brushed daily religiously!
Though the exact cause and the discrepancy in findings between men and women has yet to be probed further, this latest study should be a cautionary tale about our attitude to oral hygiene.