The head of an eagerly anticipated dementia study said researchers “may be on the right track” in approaching the fight against memory loss as a multi-front war that includes proper diet, exercise, cognitive training, risk monitoring, and coaching.
The University of Amsterdam’s Edo Richard, who co-leads the third of three collaborative studies from the European Dementia Prevention Initiative, said results of the earlier research and his findings lead him to be optimistic about the “multi-domain” approach. He did say questions of exactly what lifestyle changes and how best to deliver them remain to be answered.“We may be on the right track with our multi-domain interventions, but we have not yet managed to define what the optimal interventions are or target populations,” Richard told the Alzforum news site.
His study, the Prevention of Dementia by Intensive Vascular Care or PreDIVA, is assessing whether people who receive frequent cardiovascular care lower their risk of dementia by improving heart health.
It follows the March publication of the FINGER study, short for the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability. Results showed that nutrition coaching, brain training, exercise, and other lifestyle changes slow down cognitive decline.
The Multidomain Alzheimer’s Preventive Trial, or MAPT, presented in November at an international Alzheimer’s forum, found that an active lifestyle, good diet, and omega-3 fatty acid supplements showed promise in deterring memory loss.
Results of the PreDIVA study are expected shortly. The three studies will also serve as foundations for future research.
“While we wait to learn more, let’s act on what we know,” said Dr. Kate Zhong, Senior Director of Clinical Research and Development for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “The Six Pillars of Brain Health recommendations add to the quality of life, promote overall good health, and continue to be cited as tools to combat memory loss.”