Research on Alzheimer’s was again in Scientific American this month. This particular article was reviewing research based on a clinical trial by “FINGER” (the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability) between 2009 and 2011. The results of the clinical trials and the study show that it is never too early and in this case never “too late” to intervene with cognitive decline through changes in the way one lives.
The changes they were referring to were eating a Mediterranean like diet, getting exercise, and challenging the brain through learning new things and memory challenges. These recommendations are by no means new to the public but just validates even more this life style. To be clear the exercise that showed positive results in memory and organization was 2-3 times a week of 60 minute periods of exercise like muscle strength training, aerobic exercise and postural balance and the Mediterranean diet was fruits, vegetables, whole grains, rapeseed oil, a fish meal at least twice a week. The only supplement given was Vitamin D.
Of course the groups started slow and built up to this goal which is encouraging. They started at 30 minutes. The exercise sometimes is the most difficult to work in. It’s important to note that the time they give is not straight cardio work, it combines strength building, cardio, and posture improvement such as in physical therapy, physiotherapy, and some types of yoga.
Motivation for change can be a slow process but building up reasons to change is one of the steps. Looks like this study gives us more to add to that list of pros and cons. Hopefully also it will also help us to work through the ambivalence.