Scientists at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, found that cleaning, cooking, gardening, and hanging out with friends and family reduced by 21%the risk of suffering Alzheimer’seven in old age.
Doing housework could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 20%
Scientists at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, concluded that cooking, cleaning and gardening reduce the development of Alzheimer’s by up to 21%, even in people in their 80s.
According to a study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, “If you engage in healthy physical and mental activities more often, you can reduce your risk of dementia.”
Huan Song, lead author of the paper and a professor at Sichuan University in Chengdu, said: “Although more research is needed, our results are encouraging that these simple lifestyle changes can be beneficial.”
The researchers tracked 501,376,000 Britons using data from the UK Biobank, a clearinghouse for medical and genetic information. At the start of the study, the middle-aged volunteers were asked about their physical activities, including how often they did housework and exercise.
Participants were also asked about how often they saw loved ones and used the phone, computer, and television. Over the 11 years of the study, 5,185 people developed dementia. The results showed that most physical and mental activities were related to protection against dementia.
People without dementia with an average age of 56 years participated in the study. In addition, the genetic risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s or other conditions that affect memory was taken into account.
Dozens of studies over the past few decades have shown that regular mental, physical, and social activity keeps the brain healthy in old age. In this case, they wanted to know more about the role played by a series of lifestyle habits in the development of the disease, which becomes dangerous especially in old age.
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s, especially in the early stages, is forgetting newly learned information. Important dates or events are also forgotten; the same information is requested repeatedly; relying on memory aids (such as sticky notes or electronic devices) or family members to do things that one used to do alone.
Some people experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have difficulty following a familiar recipe or managing monthly bills. They may have trouble concentrating and it may take them longer to do things now than before.
People with Alzheimer’s often find it difficult to complete everyday tasks. Sometimes they may have difficulty getting to a familiar place, managing a budget at work, or remembering the rules of a well-known game.
People with Alzheimer’s disease forget dates, seasons, and the passage of time. They may have difficulty understanding something if it is not in process at the moment. Sometimes they may forget where they are and how they got there.
For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast, which can cause problems driving a vehicle.
People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or participating in a conversation. It is also possible that they stop in the middle of a conversation with no idea how to continue or that they repeat what they say a lot. They may struggle to find the right words or vocabulary, or call things by the wrong name.
The mood and personality of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They may become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They can easily get angry at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their environment.
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