Athletes train to improve their performance. Professionals train to achieve success in their chosen fields. Now researchers are investigating ways we can train our brains to stave off dementia. This timely piece of research is important because the number of cases of Alzheimer’s disease is rising as baby boomers age. There are 6.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s today and that’s expected to climb to a whopping 12.7 million by 2050 unless there is some breakthrough preventive treatment or cure for the disease, says the Alzheimer’s Association.
According to Axios, the novel research is examining whether eating right and exercising the body and the brain can prevent Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Called the POINTER study, it aims to determine if computer-based brain exercises, similar to video games, in combination with a healthy diet, physical exercise, and social interaction can reduce the risk for dementia for those with hereditary and other factors that make them more likely to develop the disease.
The POINTER trial plans to enroll 2,000 people, ages 60 to 79, across the country who exercise less than three times a week, have slightly high blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar, or have a family history memory problems, says the Boston Globe. One group will get general guidance on eating and living well, and the other will get more specific tips like following the Mediterranean diet and workouts for the mind and body. The goal of this study is to measure the effect of training your brain to reduce the risk of dementia.