Prevention is the greatest tool available to combat dementia.
Studies that are slowly unlocking the secrets of dementia continue to raise awareness to the powerful ways we can reduce the risk for the disease. From the ways we live our lives, to the way we care for our mental faculties, scientific inquiry has revealed at least a partial picture as to how we can curtail, or prevent neurological impairment.
This fact is crucially important because dementia is degenerative, unforgiving and unchanging. As I’ve explored in other blogs, there are steps we can take today to divert us from the path of dementia, for which 14 percent of Americans over the age of 71 and 30 percent of those over the age of 90, are currently on – and will never leave.
A new health application for your smartphone, called mHealth, is designed to assist seniors train their mental capabilities, while lowering their chances of developing dementia by almost 30 percent over a decade, according to the study.
Furthermore, the study references evidence that its application has a measurable impact on cognitive impairment – a first for a mHealth application. In other words, it is the first treatment of its kind in a clinical trial to make a difference.
A senior director of medical and scientific operations with the Alzheimer’s Association stated the training intervention can fight against cognitive impairment or dementia. This is significant. Research tells us that interventions that can delay dementia from developing by at least two years would cut the number of cases by one fifth over 30 years.
More and more, smartphone technology is getting more attention among health professionals.
In the study, 2,800 dementia-free seniors over the age of 65 were moved into four groups. One of the groups played BrainHQ, an online program challenging them to identify objects, measuring their speed and accuracy. The training correlated with a 29 percent decrease in dementia risk over a decade compared to those who did not participate in memory training.
As we gain more insight into the secrets of dementia, preventive measures will become clearer and accessible, paving a clearer road to a healthier life for millions of individuals.