Healthy lifestyle may help delay onset of dementia

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Finnish researchers say they have found conclusive evidence that healthy lifestyles, cardiac monitoring and rudimentary “brain exercises” can arrest cognitive decline in older people.

Results of the “Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability” study were published on The Lancet's website. The objective of the research was to conduct a multi-domain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people.

A total of 2,654 individuals ages 60 to 77 and at risk for dementia participated in the double-blind randomized study, which spanned from 2009 to 2011. Participants were identified from previous studies.

In order to be included in the study, participants had to have a CAIDE (Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia) Dementia Risk Score of at least 6 points and cognition at mean level or slightly lower than expected for age, the Lancet reported. A control group was given general medical advice while the other group underwent extensive interventions with diet, exercise, cognitive training and vascular risk monitoring.