The disease I fear most is dementia, which last year was the most common cause of death in the UK, after Covid. I’m scared because I hate the idea of losing my mind slowly and being a burden to others.
My father, who died in 2003 at the age of 74, showed early symptoms. He was a good man at heart and could rarely do any harm to anyone.
So much so that we found out, after his death, that he had been giving large sums of money to the people he met at the bar. He was a good man at heart and could rarely do any harm to anyone, except to himself.
In fact, a recent study by the University of Southern California suggests that it may have been. The study showed that older people who have early Alzheimer’s are more willing to give money to a stranger.
The disease I fear most is dementia, which last year was the most common cause of death in the UK, after Covid. I’m scared because I hate the idea of losing my mind slowly and being a burden to others
The researchers recruited a group of adults with an average age of 69 with no obvious symptoms of dementia. They underwent several diagnostic tests and were given money – and were asked to share it with an unknown person, with whom they spoke online.
The results showed that those who did poorly on brain tests gave more money.
This could mean that people in the early stages of dementia are more generous than the rest of us – however, researchers fear that what this test shows is that they are at higher risk of being exploited.
Protecting your loved ones against this is very important. But what can you do to reduce your risk of having dementia in the first place? Here are some of the research findings that I have included in my life:
Get an eye test: According to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf Help, a slight hearing loss can double your risk of developing dementia; severe hearing loss can increase risk fivefold.
And now a review of studies, by Peking University in China, has found that older people who have untreated vision problems were almost three times more likely to have symptoms of cognitive impairment than those who were not.
One theory about this link between sight and hearing loss and dementia is that when your senses diminish, your brain has to work harder to compensate, leaving you with little ability to do things like retain memory.
Another theory is that if you have difficulty seeing or hearing then you are at risk of being isolated from other people, and that, we know, increases the risk of dementia.
Having regular tests, which I do, means that problems can be identified and resolved early. I also have hearing loss and if I get to the point where I need a hearing aid, I will not hesitate to get one.
One theory about the connection between sight and hearing loss and dementia is that when your emotions are diminished, your brain has to work harder to compensate, leaving you with little ability to do things like retain memory.
Invest in plants: Air pollution is bad for your lungs, your heart and your brain. The main danger lies in the tiny particles in the air, called PM2.5, which are produced when fossil fuels are burned, and which are very small that can travel through your lungs, into your bloodstream and into your brain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says air pollution is not only one of the leading causes of death, but also mental illness.
A study conducted by the University of Washington in the United States found that exposure to an increase in the amount of air particles (in particular, an increase of one million grams per cubic meter of air – compared to the WHO guideline limit is 10 each year.
To reduce my risk of infection I try to drive at quiet times just to avoid getting stuck in traffic and I ride my bike on quiet back roads. My wife Clare and I have filled our house with indoor plants, as the 2019 study suggested are good at capturing PM2.5 particles.
We have also decided not to buy a wood stove, as these produce a significant amount of PM2.5.
Start painting: I recently went to a drawing class, the first since I was a kid. Although I will not give up the day’s work, taking on challenging activities is likely to be good for your brain and painting seems to be especially helpful.
A few years ago I was involved in a study with the University of Newcastle where we recruited 30 volunteers, put them to cognitive tests, and then randomly assigned them to walk three hours a week, do a mystery, or join a weekly art class. which featured a lifestyle model named Steve. After three months, our volunteer staff re-evaluated the cognitive tests and although all the groups improved, the winners were an art class group. Steve being naked had shown great emotion.
Eating green: What you eat has a huge impact on your body, but what nutrition is right for your brain?
A recent study in Israel compared the effects of low-fat diets, Mediterranean diets (high vegetables, fish oil and olive oil) to green Mediterranean diets – which is similar to Mediterranean diets, but participants were also forced to drink three drinks of water. . cups of green tea and green tea made from Mankai duckweed (a plant from Southeast Asia) that is full of protein and other nutrients.
At the end of the 18-month study, all Mediterranean foods improved the participants’ brain capacity, but it was the Greenies who came out on top. Researchers think this is because green foods are high in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that can enter the brain and stimulate the production of new brain cells.
It is not just green foods that are rich in polyphenols; also get lots in berries, red onions and apples. A good excuse to eat more strawberries this summer.
I’ve never wanted a regular tattoo, but I’m fascinated by a new ‘electronic’ blood pressure tattoo, developed by the University of Texas at Austin, USA.
These temporary tattoos are made of graphene, a substance that conducts electricity. Pieces of graphene are placed along the main veins in your arm; then it sends a small charge to your skin and analyzes your body’s response.
From this your blood pressure is calculated with astonishing accuracy. I want one.
Being generous is good for you
A few months ago, I wrote about how we sent a request to care for the Ukrainian family. Well, a few weeks ago, with the help of my local MP, Sarah Green, they finally got their visas and are now settling into our home.
The family has a mother and her three children; a ten-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl, and a 17-year-old boy. Their father and most of their relatives are still in Ukraine, living in a vicious circle near the Russian-occupied territory.
I am proud of how local schools are turning their backs on children’s places, and how local groups are helping Ukrainian refugees with things like food and second-hand bicycles.
Research suggests that one of the best ways to have fun is to share with others – and this war has shown how generous people can be.
If you are considering participating in the Housing Program for Ukraine, I would definitely recommend it, but it is clear that this is a long-term commitment as we do not know when they can safely return home.
Follow your nose to make friends
Do you have friends you clicked with the first time you met them? One of my favorite writers, Fyodor Dostoevsky, once wrote: ‘Sometimes we meet people, even complete strangers, who begin to impress us for the first time.’
Maybe he should have written ‘at the beginning of the smell’, as a study by the Weizmann Institute of Sciences showed that how we smell seems to play a big part in instant friendships.
They hired 20 pairs of friends who got along well from their first meeting, and compared their natural body scents. They were asked to use perfumed soap and ointments and deodorants for a few days, then to wear a clean T-shirt for 24 hours.
When the T-shirts were analyzed, it turned out that the friends had a natural body odor that was similar to each other than to random guests.
They also put pairs of strangers together to talk, then measured their body smells.
The most successful are those who are closely related, fragrant. So it seems obvious that when it comes to friendships, we are following our noses.
Source: | This original article is from Dailymail.co.uk