Over the years, the average lifespan of people is slowly getting longer. Thanks to scientific discoveries and an improved quality of life, people are now able to live longer. While this is clearly a good thing in many ways, some of the consequences should not be ignored. In fact, it appears that the increase in the average life span of people leads to a direct relative growth of neurodegenerative diseases. However, this type of phenomenon is associated not only with age, but also with genetic predisposition, and sometimes false attitudes.
Already after the age of 50, this condition can lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s by damaging the brain and memory
As with everything, a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, and good momentum can make all the difference. However, this does not appear to be enough according to research conducted in the UK on 462,619 people who were followed for about 12 years.
In this large sample, the researchers wanted to assess the relationship between cognitive decline and states of loneliness and social isolation. It appears, in fact, that after the age of 50, this condition can compromise cognitive abilities, increasing the risk of developing dementia. It would have been clear from the research that those who live in a state of loneliness are more likely to develop cognitive impairment. The reason is related to the fact that social isolation will damage some areas of the brain related to memory and learning. The result would be an approximately 26% increased risk of cognitive decline compared to those who instead maintain social relationships.
Keep your mind healthy
The research gave an opportunity to deepen the study on the effects of loneliness and how to prevent it. Among the solutions, “shared housing” is being tried in America and North Europe, that is, housing projects in which people constantly exchange social interactions. This allows the elderly to interact with other humans and engage in activities that keep the relationship with others active.
In addition to socializing, however, there are other aspects to keep in mind to maintain a clear mind. The brain needs to stay active, for example through reading or through simple activities such as crossword puzzles. It is also important to do physical activity, among which walking is the most beneficial against cognitive decline.
Finally, experts suggest that living in a healthy environment free of pollution can also reduce the risk of developing dementia.
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