The Alzheimer’s Disease Association is encouraging people to “stay active” for a year or two to boost the rate of their cognitive decline.
This is according to a new research article by Dr. Elissa J. Fagan, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School’s Institute of Health Psychology, who was featured on CNN.
The goal of low-level cognitive therapy is to restore your brain’s functioning, so that you can remember to do certain things, and to be able to focus on others, Fagan said.
“It can help you to remember to eat, and it can help to do activities that require your attention.”
The goal, she said, is to improve your memory, concentration, and ability to process information, so you can become more adaptive.
The study focused on a population of people with Alzheimer’s.
It is not clear why low-status people are more likely to develop dementia than high-status ones.
However, one hypothesis is that low-income people have a poorer diet, which may make them more susceptible to the disease.
“We want to do the best we can, so the best way to treat the disease is to help them maintain their mental health,” Fagan told CNN.
Low-attentiveness restoration theory is the belief that a low-key approach to cognitive activity is the best treatment for the disease, she added.
“The more attention you have, the less likely you are to develop cognitive impairment.”
In a 2014 study, Fagans group found that participants who engaged in cognitive-enhancing activities like playing chess or going for a walk at least twice a week were significantly less likely to have symptoms of dementia, compared to participants who did not engage in these activities.
The American College of Cardiology, however, maintains that “attention training” is not effective for dementia.
In a 2015 report, the group noted that cognitive training programs may “be useful for individuals with moderate cognitive impairment and dementia, but they should be carefully monitored to determine their effectiveness for long-term outcomes.”