It’s the age old battle: how much does working together increase our liveslongevity. Okay, so probably not the ultimate battle, but still something that people have been pondering for generations. Does one ever really trump the other or are there benefits to be gained from working in and through challenging situations with others. Sometimes it seems that working alone can help to increase your stamina and joy when doing different projects or involved in different areas of life. However, new research has proven that there are also some ways that working together can help to increase your memory. Not only with other people, but making sure you create a stimulating lifestyle can counteract negative cognitive effects.
Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., chief science officer, or Heather Snyder, Ph.D., senior director of medical and scientific operations, Alzheimer’s Association spoke with Quirky Daily to provide details on these studies, as well as highlights from the rest of the conference. Compelling new research has shown that people who work closely with other people, more than with data or physical things, may be better able to withstand the onset of Alzheimer’s. The report w was just one of many new studies unveiled during the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference®2016 (AAIC® 2016), July 24-28 in Toronto. Well, what does that mean for women across the globe? A lot.
Further, according to new research that was reported at AAIC 2016, a cognitively stimulating lifestyle may counteract the negative cognitive effects of an unhealthy diet, which has been associated with memory and thinking declines in older adults. The evidence is becoming increasingly clear that lifestyle factors play an important role in the development and progress of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and is becoming a key consideration in treatment and prevention of the disease.
Thankfully, this new data has added to a growing body of research that suggests more mentally stimulating lifestyles, which also include more formal education, complex work environments, and engagement with people, may be associated with reduced cognitive decline and dementia as a person starts to get older.
Other important studies discussed at AAIC include updates on the progress in both eye and smell tests for early detection of cognitive decline and dementia. This could be a major factor in helping to discover more about the disease, its causes, and hopefully how people can begin to prevent it from occurring.
Using your support system to lean on and work together is a huge factor in helping you to grow. “We know that if you have a loved one suffering, you can speak to your healthcare provider. This allows you to take advantage of the current medications, as well as planning for your care and financial future,” Dr. Carrillo says.
Carrillo also had a lot to add about the possibilities of career being involved in the ultimate health of your brain. It’s a muscle that we should all spend more time exercising. “We’ve seen several studies looking at your job and the complexity of your job along with the social interactions. So if you’re a teacher or a social worker, which both involve mentoring, that seems to allow us to withstand some of the brain changes that we see as we age. Possibly also dementia, which really underscores the importance of keeping our brains active for its overall health,” Carrillo says.
“Ultimately, we want to be able to intervene at the earliest time point, to stop or slow the progression of this disease, before our loved ones are losing their memories. We’ve seen some exciting studies that suggest that our nose for instance could be a window into what’s happening in our brain and the loss of smell could be used in identifying individuals who are more at risk to have memory changes as they age. That could be a easy to use, low-cost, non-invasive simple way to find out who should go on for follow up for early diagnosis,” Carrillo concluded.
You can go to ALZ.org for more information.
Feature Image: Eric Prunier