Each month, I will share with you important insights about dementia and the potential impact of cognitive rehabilitation and lifestyle interventions on cognitive well-being. You and your loved ones can always find more resources at www.PreventingDecline.com and find a local approved healthcare provider to help you reduce your risk of dementia (visit www.ExcellenceInAudiology.com).

As of now, it's projected that the number of people with dementia will increase to 82 million by 2030 and surpass 152 million by 2050. Research indicates that lifestyle factors play a significant role in one-third to one-half of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cases.

To address this, interventions are crucial for reducing the risk of dementia. Two key approaches include primary prevention, focusing on those with normal cognitive function, and secondary prevention, targeting individuals experiencing subjective cognitive decline (SCD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), considered early signs of dementia.

Recent studies have mainly explored lifestyle interventions for MCI, revealing positive outcomes in various cognitive domains. However, there's a need for more research in those with SCD. A recent proof-of-concept study, the Body Brain Life for Cognitive Decline (BBL-CD) trial, aimed to fill this gap by adapting successful interventions for other participant groups to those with SCD and MCI.

The BBL-CD study, an 8-week program, involved community-dwelling individuals aged 65 and older from the Canberra region, Australia. Participants either received online modules on dementia risk reduction or engaged in practical activities, including consultations with a dietitian and exercise physiologist, and online brain training.

Results from the study demonstrated positive changes in lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and improvements in cognition for those experiencing cognitive decline. Notably, the multidomain lifestyle intervention led to clinically meaningful changes in lifestyle risk and cognition over the short term.

Adherence to the intervention was generally strong, with the brain training component showing slightly lower engagement. While the positive effects on lifestyle risk were sustained over three months, cognition improvements were particularly noteworthy, suggesting that individuals in the early stages of cognitive decline can experience meaningful short-term benefits.

These findings highlight the potential for lifestyle interventions to positively impact brain health in the early stages of cognitive decline. While this study provides valuable insights, further research with larger and longer-term studies is needed to explore the sustainability of these improvements.

By staying informed about these developments, we empower ourselves and our community to take proactive steps towards brain health. Embracing a lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, physical activity, and cognitive engagement can contribute to reducing the risk of dementia and promoting overall well-being.

For more information on this study and related topics, check out www.PreventingDecline.com.

Stay well,

Dr. Keith N. Darrow

The World's Award-Winning Hearing & Tinnitus Treatment Specialists
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