Those participants in the study with the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood had a substantially higher risk of developing Alzheimer's and all other forms of dementia.
The positive effects of exercise, sleep, and moderate alcohol consumption on our brains and on cognition is real and measurable. The exact mechanisms for these positive effects is less clear, but the connection to the glymphatic system gives us at least some explanation for why they work.
Omega-3 fatty acids are the basis of compounds that regulate inflammation, protect neurons, and promote neurite growth. Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation before they eventually get around to regulating inflammation.
Eat Curry Avoid Alzheimer’s: UCLA Study of Curcumin Shows Improved Memory and Reduced Brain Pathology
Compared to placebo, the curcumin group showed significant improvement for primary verbal memory, primary visual memory and measure of attention. PET scans showed strong evidence that amyloid beta deposits and tau tangles in the amygdala declined significantly in the curcumin group. Furthermore, deposits and tangles in the hypothalmus of the placebo group showed a significant increase after 18 months, but the curcumin group was spared this unfortunate result.
Chronic and even acute inflammation may be responsible for dementia. A look at the research certainly points towards a connection.
"Healthy older adults randomized to speed of processing cognitive training had a 29% reduction in their risk of dementia after 10 years of follow-up compared to the untreated control group."
Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who engaged in moderate physical activity had greater hippocampal volume. Atrophy of the hippocampus is a hallmark of Alzheimer's, therefore these results suggest that exercise can help to stave off Alzheimer's.
Individuals at higher risk for Alzheimer's who engaged in little to no physical activity lost 3% of their hippocampal volume after only 18 months. Those who did moderate physical activity showed no change in the volume of the hippocampus.
Alzheimer's subjects given probiotics showed improvement in some (but not all) measures of Alzheimer's pathology. Importantly, the probiotics did improve cognitive function.
A study of probiotic supplementation clearly showed that the probiotic formula protected Alzheimer's mice from neurodegeneration as measured by cognitive function and signs of brain damage.