Home Household chores Household chores could help prevent dementia, study finds

Household chores could help prevent dementia, study finds

0

Simple household chores could help prevent dementia by increasing our brain size, according to a new study.

Canadian scientists have found that older people who spend more time on housework have larger brains, a strong predictor of cognitive health.

These tasks – including cleaning, tidying up, cooking, heavy housework and gardening – could all give a workout to the human brain and ward off disease.

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a category of symptoms marked by behavioral changes and progressive decline in cognitive and social abilities.

Household chores, including cleaning, tidying up, dusting, cooking, shopping, heavy housework, gardening, home repairs and caring, could all help give the human brain a workout. coaching.

While there’s plenty of evidence that recreational physical activity influences brain health, the effects of more mundane daily activities, like cleaning, have so far been less well understood, scientists say.

Highlighting the benefits of household chores can motivate older adults to be more active by “providing a more realistic, low-risk form of physical activity,” they say.

Scientists say gas in the brain increases the risk of dementia

Levels of a toxic gas in the brain could influence whether or not we get dementia and epilepsy, a 2021 study reveals.

The gas, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), is created inside the body in small doses – and is perhaps best known for carrying the scorching smell of rotten eggs.

H2S is produced in the brain and in several smooth muscles, including the thoracic aorta (the section of the aorta in the chest) and the ileum (the last section of the small intestine).

By testing rat brain cells, scientists found that H2S is involved in blocking a key brain cell gateway that helps the brain communicate effectively.

Treatments aimed at lowering H2S levels in the brain – and therefore fighting dementia and epilepsy – can help prevent gas damage.

Read more: Dementia treatments could reduce H2S levels in the brain

“Scientists already know that exercise has a positive impact on the brain, but our study is the first to show that the same is true for household chores,” said study author Noah Koblinsky. , from Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI) in Toronto. Canada.

“Understanding how different forms of physical activity contribute to brain health is crucial for developing strategies to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults.”

The researchers looked at the links between household chores, brain volume, and cognition in a group of 66 cognitively healthy older adults between the ages of 65 and 85.

Participants attended three assessment visits at Baycrest Hospital in Toronto, including a health assessment, structural brain imaging, and cognitive assessment.

Participants were asked about the time they spent on household chores, such as tidying up, dusting, meal preparation and cleaning, shopping, heavy housework, gardening and yard work, home repairs and care.

Researchers found that older adults who spent more time engaging in such activities had greater brain volume regardless of the amount of more intense physical exercise (such as running).

This has been observed in the hippocampus, which plays a major role in memory and learning, and the frontal lobe, which is involved in many aspects of cognition.

Scientists have offered three explanations for the brain benefits of home physical activity.

First, heart health is closely linked to brain health, and it could be that household chores have a similar effect on the heart and blood vessels as low-intensity aerobic exercise.

Second, planning and organizing household chores can promote the formation of new neural connections in the brain over time, even as you age.

Finally, older people who engaged in more household chores may have spent less time being inactive, which has been shown to be linked to negative health outcomes, including poor brain health.

As a next step, researchers would like to more objectively assess household physical activity using wearable technology.

With additional funding, they could also plan controlled trials with the goal of increasing individuals’ household activity and studying brain changes over time.

Researchers point out that Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are the most common and costly medical conditions in the world.

The prevention and treatment of these disorders have been considered a public health priority by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Worldwide, around 50 million people suffer from dementia and there are almost 10 million new cases each year, according to the WHO.

Alzheimer’s disease, which slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, may contribute to 60-70% of dementia cases, according to the WHO.

More than 920,000 people in the UK live with dementia – a figure that is expected to rise to more than one million by 2024, according to the Alzheimer Society UK.

The study was published in the journal BMC Geriatrics.

WHAT IS DEMENTIA? THE BLURRED DISEASE THAT STEALS PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM THEIR MEMORIES

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders

A GLOBAL CHALLENGE

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (those that affect the brain) that impact memory, thinking and behavior.

There are many types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

Some people may have a combination of dementia types.

Regardless of the type diagnosed, each person will experience dementia in their own way.

Dementia is a global concern, but is most commonly seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live to very old ages.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?

The Alzheimer’s Society reports that there are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK today, of which over 500,000 have Alzheimer’s disease.

It is estimated that the number of people with dementia in the UK by 2025 will reach over one million.

In the United States, it is estimated that there are 5.5 million people with Alzheimer’s disease. A similar percentage increase is expected in the coming years.

As a person’s age increases, the risk of developing dementia also increases.

Diagnosis rates are improving, but it is believed that many people with dementia remain undiagnosed.

IS THERE A CURE?

Currently, there is no cure for dementia.

But new drugs can slow its progression and the earlier it is spotted, the more effective the treatments.

Source: Alzheimer Society