Modern dementia treatment is driven by much better research than has been the case in the past. It is estimated that the number of people suffering from some form of dementia could rise to 135 million by 2050.
With figures like these it is reassuring to know that researchers are beginning to plug the gaps in treatment.
A study has recently been published in the journal Neurology and led by Dr James Pottala at the University of South Dakota in the US. He found that eating more oily fish can increase brain size and help stave off age related mental decline.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil effectively maintain more brain cells in the hippocampus, which is associated with memory function and reduce the effects of aging by up to 2 years.
Levels of two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA were measured in the blood of 1,111 70 year old women taking part in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study.
Eight years later, at an average age of 78, MRI scans revealed that those who started the survey with higher intake levels of omega-3 had larger brain volumes.
Dr James believes higher levels of fatty acids can be achieved through diet and the use of supplements.
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout, sardine and herring make nutritious and tasty meals. To preserve the goodness in the fish it is best to bake in the oven or steam.
Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fats as are nuts such as walnuts – these are easy to add to breakfast cereals or just use them as healthy snacks.
Beans such as soy beans and red kidney beans are great in stews and dishes such as chilli con carne.
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