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Taking This Every Day Can Protect You From Mental Decline

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As we grow older, our brains naturally change. Behaviors like shorter attention spans, being less able to multitask and having trouble recalling names are some of the most common afflictions that seniors have to deal with. But there’s some good news!

A new study found a link between a daily multivitamin supplement and cognitive health, suggesting that it’s possible to slow down the brain’s aging process.

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The findings were published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia and was conducted by researchers from Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

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Researchers wanted to see if taking a daily cocoa extract supplement or a multivitamin supplement was able to reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, strokes, and more.  Over 2,200 participants over the age of 65 were recruited for the study, with a follow-up process for three years. During this time, researchers had participants complete different tasks that tested their cognitive ability.

Participants were split into groups, with one taking the cocoa extract and another a placebo. A different group took the multivitamin supplement and had their results compared to another placebo group.

“Our study showed that although cocoa extract did not affect cognition, daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation resulted in statistically significant cognitive improvement,” said study author Laura Baker. “This is the first evidence of cognitive benefit in a large longer-term study of multivitamin supplementation in older adults.”

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The study results indicate that three years of taking the vitamin supplements were able to slow down the brain’s aging process by 60%. These benefits were more pronounced in people with cardiovascular disease, something that is very good since these people are already at a higher risk of experiencing cognitive decline.

While researchers make it clear that their results are preliminary, if pursued, the study could provide people with a new and noninvasive way of keeping their brains fit and healthy for as long as possible.



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Watching This Much TV A Week Could Increase The Risk Of Dementia

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We’ve all been taught that watching too much TV will rot our brains, but that idea might not be too far off. A new study found a connection between dementia and sitting in front of the TV for too long. To make this news worse, the number of hours spent watching TV isn’t even that high before it starts to impact the health of your brain.

The study, conducted by researchers in England, found that TV poses a threat for dementia in older adults. According to researchers, just 24 hours of TV a week can be enough to impact your brain. That’s just 3.4 hours of TV a day.

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watching TV
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The majority of studies conducted on the impact of TV are usually done on children and young adults, with researchers finding this the biggest source of concern. This recent study took a new approach, trying to understand the effect of TV on people over the age of 50.

Over 3,600 people, with a median age of 67 and with no dementia diagnosis, participated in the study. Results showed that participants who watched over 24.5 hours of TV a week had an 8-10% decrease in their verbal memory. In comparison, participants who watched less than 24.5 hours of TV a week only experienced a 4-5% of decrease.

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“Research suggests that television is a bit of unusual activity for the brain because you’ve got lots of bright and fast-moving images so your brain is very alert, but at the same time it is quite a passive activity to engage in, and this has been shown to lead to a less-focused brain,” said Ph.D. Daisy Fancourt, one of the lead authors of the study.

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While the study looked into the effects of TV, it probably suggests that older adults should complement their TV viewing with other activities, staying active and engaging their brain in other ways, eliminating a bit of its negative influence.



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Doing This May Improve Memory And Delay Alzheimer’s

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A new study conducted on mice shows that a hormone produced by exercise can boost and improve your memory. One of the hormones produced, called irisin, promotes healthy brain development and can improve Alzheimer’s disease in rodents. Previous research conducted on humans shows that they also produce this hormone, and that exercise could curb dementia and memory loss that occurs due to aging.

Published in the NatureJournal, the study was conducted by comparing two groups of mice; one that was unable to produce the irisin and another that produced normal amounts.

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5 Memory Boosters That Actually Work
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Mice were instructed to run for a few days, with the mice that produced irisin performing well on rodent tests of memory and learning. Mice that were unable to produce irisin had more issues with performance, confirming the researcher’s theory that irisin is pivotal when it comes to experiencing brain benefits due to working out.

Despite not mentioning how many hours per day the mice ran, the study found that all mice who worked out showed more neurons than usual, with the mice that produced no irisin developing cells that had lower synapses and were overall less effective. Once irisin was introduced to these mice, their performance increased considerably, with rodents of all ages showing boosts in performance, including senior rodents with Alzheimer’s.

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Exercise has long been associated with brain and memory benefits, but this study is pivotal in understanding why. The hormone irisin plays a key role in terms of benefits experienced via working out. Per the New York Times, the hormone might also be developed as a drug in the near future, helping treat diseases like Alzheimer’s and slowing the decline of brain health.

While there’s still a long way to go in terms of understanding how irisin impacts humans, this study is an important first step in understanding the connection that exists between brain and memory health and working out.



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