A brain scan (file photo)

A regular fitness program alongside controlled blood pressure and brain training could help reduce the risk of dementia at an old age, say American medical experts.
There is “encouraging” evidence, although inconclusive, to support these three interventions for brain health, according to a new report released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
The three factors are increased physical activity to delay or slow down age-related cognitive decline; managing one’s blood pressure for people with hypertension, particularly in middle-aged people; and, cognitive training, which includes exercises aimed at enhancing reasoning and problem solving, memory, and speed of processing.
“The evidence is strong enough to suggest the public should at least have access to these results to help inform their decisions about how they can invest their time and resources to maintain brain health with aging,” said Alan Leshner, the chair of the committee and CEO emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Elderly residents of New York attend a Senior Citizens Prom, sponsored by the MetroPlus, a prepaid health services plan, in New York City, June 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

“If we could just reduce the incidence of dementia by just five percent per year, we would reduce the number of people who get it by 24 percent and that would save the economy $120 billion dollars by 2056, not to mention [that we would] ensure people have much happier and healthier lifestyles,” said Maree McCabe, the Alzheimer’s Australia chief executive officer.
McCabe added that whatever was good for the heart was good for the brain and managing vascular health was critical for brain health.
She said the evidence had been found and people had to implement the simple lifestyle measures proposed.

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