Dementia comes in numerous forms but the most common is Alzheimer’s disease. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease develop gradually over many years and eventually become more severe. Memory problems – usually the first sign – can begin with forgetting a recent conversation and may culminate in forgetting who your loved ones are. The decline is heartbreaking but research suggests you can (to an extent) protect yourself against it.
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This development has prompted researchers to investigate ways to counter brain inflammation.
According to Dr Fred Pescatore, a natural health physician based in New York and bestselling author of ‘The A List Diet’ and ‘Feed Your Kids Well’, one of the most promising countermeasures is to eat a ketogenic diet.
“The ketogenic diet is one of your most powerful weapons against brain inflammation,” he said, speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk .
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat.
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This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, which can supply energy to your brain.
As Dr Pescatore reported, in a recent pilot study, researchers placed 15 subjects with mild Alzheimer’s on a ketogenic diet for three months.
They assessed cognitive function before the diet period, immediately after the diet period, and then a month later once the subjects had resumed their usual diets.
“Among these subjects, ten were able to achieve sustained ketosis,” he said.
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These include: Hearing loss
Untreated depression (although this can also be a symptom of dementia)
Loneliness or social isolation
A sedentary lifestyle
The research concluded that by modifying all the risk factors we are able to change, our risk of dementia could be significantly reduced.
Furthermore, there’s some evidence to suggest that rates of dementia are lower in people who remain mentally and socially active throughout their lives.
Interventions such as “brain training” computer games have been shown to improve cognition over a short period, but research has not yet demonstrated whether this can help prevent dementia.