Today, I’m continuing my crusade to help you ward off dementia. (Honestly, this effort never really ends.)
I hope to help as many people as possible—myself included—keep cognitive decline at bay.
And since just yesterday we talked about keeping your brain sharp, allow me to report on the findings of yet another study…
This new research reports that a dementia risk factor could increase disease onset by a staggering 268 percent.
But don’t worry, I’ll cover everything you need to know—including the SIMPLE step you can take to safeguard your brain.
Frailty is a serious risk factor
As part of this study, international researchers pulled data from nearly 200,000 participants of the U.K. biobank, all of whom were over the age of 60.
They calculated genetic risk for dementia. And they developed a score for frailty—the overall level of weakness, disability, and disease. Then, they analyzed both factors against healthy lifestyle behaviors and actual dementia outcomes.
Over a decade, researchers found that the subjects who developed dementia were also more likely to be very frail before diagnosis, compared to those who didn’t end up with dementia.
Of course, genetics had the expected impact… at least among healthy subjects. But get this: Among the frailest subjects, dementia risk was high regardless of their genetic risk.
In fact, subjects who were the frailest were 268 percent more likely to end up with dementia than subjects who weren’t frail.
Plus, even among subjects with the highest genetic dementia risk, disease onset was:
- the lowest among healthy/fit subjects, and
- the highest among subjects in poor health.
And if subjects were both frail and at high genetic risk? Well, this population faced six times the dementia risk, compared to people without either risk factor.
Take back control
The most exciting part of these findings, to me, is that they underscore one critical message:
When it comes to dementia, we can—and SHOULD—be taking control of the narrative by doing absolutely anything and everything we can to prevent it.
I’ve written about a number of strategies that make a difference in the fight against dementia—from diet and exercise to board games and fish oil supplements. The list keeps growing in terms of what you can do.
And now, we have more evidence suggesting that remaining physically strong is important, too.
Both are simple ways to improve muscle mass and, in turn, reduce frailty and weakness. The trick, as always, is to put these suggestions into action on a daily basis—starting TODAY.
“Reduce frailty to lower dementia.” Science Daily, 12/22/2021. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/12/211222084035.htm)