Prevention is ageless

 
 
 

All aging persons develop some degree of decline in cognitive capacity (for example, forgetfulness, decreased ability to maintain focus and decreased problem-solving capacity), and the magnitude of age-related decline accelerates at older ages, but there is considerable controversy about the age at which cognitive decline begins. The question is important because the age at which cognitive decline begins is important in order to choose the optimum time in which to implement interventions to prevent or reverse age-related declines. Most of the interventions are designed for adults aged 60 years or more, but age-related cognitive decline begins before. This may affect the likelihood that interventions at that age will be successful because the changes might have accumulated to such an extent that they may be difficult to reverse.

Omega-3 fatty acids may affect the risk of cognitive decline, and it has been observed a strong association between low omega-3 levels and cognitive impairment in older adults.

An engaged lifestyle, cognitive training (for example, playing chess and speaking more than one language), regular exercising and nutritional interventions can enhance cognitive reserve and convey protection against loss of brain function, and thus potentially decrease the rate of age-related cognitive decline.

 

Bibliography

  • Lukaschek K, von Schacky C, Kruse J et al. Cognitive Impairment Is Associated with a Low Omega-3 Index in the Elderly: Results from the KORA-Age Study. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2016 Oct 5;42(3-4):236-245. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Salthouse TA. When does age-related cognitive decline begin? Neurobiol Aging. 2009 Apr; 30(4): 507-514.
  • Stine-Morrow EA, Parisi JM, Morrow DG. The effects of an engaged lifestyle on cognitive vitality: a field experiment. Psychol Aging. 2008 Dec;23(4):778-86.