Healthy Lifestyle May Support Better Brain Function—Even with Brain Changes Suggestive of Dementia


The Rush Memory and Aging Project gathered information on lifestyle and cognitive function for up to 24 years in a cohort of individuals and then collected autopsy data. In a recent analysis of data from 586 individuals a “healthy lifestyle score” was computed based on self-reported smoking, physical activity levels, alcohol consumption, adherence to a healthy dietary pattern (the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay—or MIND—diet), and late-life cognitive activity. The researchers then compared these scores to results of a battery of standardized cognitive tests and brain pathologies seen on autopsy.

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