Posts Tagged ‘dementia’

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Dance away Dementia

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

I recently heard an interesting tidbit:  Research shows that regular partner dancing is the most effective activity to ward of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Really!?  Above Sudoku!?!

I consulted my all-knowing friend Google, and found that indeed, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York conducted a  study demonstrating this.  The study spanned 21 years and followed 469 senior citizens, measuring mental acuity and monitoring rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s.  They compared both cognitive and physical activities, including regular (3-4 times/week) swimming, cycling, walking, golfing, playing tennis, partner dancing,  doing housework, reading, writing, playing cards, and playing musical instruments.  The study showed that of all the activities – both cognitive and physical – regular dancing was the most effective for lowering the participants’ chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s.

This can be interpreted several ways.  Partner dancing involves concentration and memorization, decision making, coordination, balance, endurance, strength, and flexibility, for starters.  Multiple areas of the brain are simultaneously engaged, the cardiovascular system is challenged, etc.  Science can prove the cognitive and physiological benefits of dancing, but what I find so significant is that partner dancing requires a partner.  It involves human touch, communication, trust, and teamwork.   It’s like one-on-one play for adults.

Here’s my take on it:  Health can be managed via a barrage of tests, supplements, medications, devices, and procedures, but I truly believe that for humans to really thrive, we also need each other.  Our emotional selves need attention just as our cognitive and physical selves do.  We need relationships – touch, communication, trust, and humor.  Partner dancing is the perfect synthesis of mental, emotional, and physical therapy.

So, eat your greens, take your vitamins, laugh, play, and hold the hand of someone dear to you.  Toss in some music and a  little fancy footwork, and you’ll be wowing your great grandchildren with detailed accounts of 1988 decades from now.

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Food For Thought, Research On Plant Compound May Help Prevent Nerve-Cell Loss In The Brain

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

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B Vitamins that Lower Homocysteine Slow Brain Atrophy in Elderly with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

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Mental ‘exercise’ linked to faster dementia progression

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

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Vitamin D Found to Influence Over 200 Genes, Highlighting Links to Disease

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

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Dietary Intake of Vitamin E May Reduce the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

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Large-Scale, Long-Term Studies Support Roles Of Physical Activity And Diet In Dementia And Cognitive Decline

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

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Alzheimer’s Society Comment On Study Claiming Vitamin E Could Reduce Risk Of Developing Dementia

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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Depression may double dementia risk, say researchers

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

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Teenage Physical Activity Reduces Risk of Cognitive Impairment in Later Life

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

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For Better Health – Please Don’t Stop The Music!

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

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More Choline for Pregnant, Nursing Women Could Reduce Down Syndrome Dysfunction, Guard Against Dementia

Friday, June 4th, 2010

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Big Belly In Middle Age Linked To Higher Risk Of Dementia

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

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Mediterranean Diet May Lower Risk Of Brain Damage That Causes Thinking Problems

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

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Blood Pressure And Heart Disease Drugs May Help Fend Off Dementia, Including Alzheimer’s Disease

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

A recent study has shown that angiotensin receptor blockers, drugs that are normally used to treat heart disease and high blood pressure, significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

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