- Researchers followed 29,072 older adults (60 years old and over) over 10 years to investigate the link between lifestyle choices and memory loss.
- They found a link between a healthy lifestyle and slower memory decline, even in the presence of the APOE Ɛ4 gene, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
- The researchers hope their findings will inform public health initiatives seeking to prevent memory loss in older adults.
The gradual loss of thinking abilities such as memory, reasoning, and psychomotor speed is a natural part of aging. However, studies such as the
The impact of lifestyle factors on memory has been the subject of many studies. However, previous research typically focused on a single lifestyle factor, such as diet, physical activity,
For this reason, Dr. Jianping Jia, Ph.D., neurologist and professor at Capital Medical University, Beijing, China, and his colleagues investigated the combined effects of six lifestyle factors on memory decline in a large study population over a 10-year period.
In an interview with Medical News Today, Dr. Jia said:
“[E]ffective strategies for protecting against memory decline may benefit a large number of older adults. Our results showed that adherence to a combination of healthy lifestyle behaviours was associated with a slower memory decline in older adults, including those genetically susceptible to memory decline.”
The results of the study appear in
Dr. Richard J. Caselli, professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic, who was not involved in the study, described the study as “well done and generally supportive of findings from studies such as the FINGER study, this time in a Chinese population.”
The researchers recruited 29,072 study participants from North, South, and West China aged 60 or older with typical cognitive functions. Their mean age was 72.2 years, and 51.5% were men.
Genetic testing at baseline showed that 20.43% of the study participants were carriers of the APOE ε4 gene, the strongest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
The researchers followed up with the participants at intervals over the next 10 years, in 2012,