Alzheimer’s disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, is known as a “mild terminal illness” and is the “fourth-biggest killer” of older adults after heart disease, tumors and strokes.
There is still a lack of effective treatment for dementia. The good news, though, is that scientists have found that just by improving the way you live your daily lives, you can greatly reduce your risk of getting sick.
A cohort study of more than 430,000 people with an average follow-up time of up to 9 years showed that 7 hours of sleep per day, combined with moderate and high levels of leisure sports and short sitting hours, could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 41%, and these three types of regulated behaviors had a combined effect on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study was carried out by the clinical research team of Yu Jintai, professor of neurology at Huashan Hospital affiliated to Fudan University, and the team of Cheng Wei, researcher of the Institute of Brain-like Intelligence Science and Technology of Fudan University. The results were recently published in Molecular Psychiatry.
The impact of three types of behaviors on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease courtesy of respondents
Three types of behaviors are highly associated with dementia
Every 3 seconds, one more person in the world suffers from dementia. In China alone, there are more than 15 million people with dementia. What followed was a huge socio-economic burden and the nightmares of countless families over the years.
“We don’t currently have a drug that can reverse the cure for dementia, and most patients go to the hospital after developing severe symptoms, which is the golden window of early prevention and treatment.” Yu Jintai told China Science Daily, “Therefore, the intervention of regulatory behavioral factors is particularly important for the development of dementia prevention strategies.” ”
A growing body of research has found that three types of daily behaviors– sleep, exercise, and sedentary habits– are associated with the risk of dementia. But existing studies have been limited to the effects of a single behavior on dementia and are often based on qualitative analysis of small sample sizes.
Initially, Yu Jintai’s team mainly studied the association between sleep and dementia. If changing the length of sleep can reduce the risk of dementia, what a simple and easy solution! However, as the research progressed, they found that this idea was still too naïve. “In fact, the length of sleep is difficult to change.” Yu Jintai said, “For middle-aged and elderly people, it is more difficult to change the sleep habits they have developed over decades. ”
With these practical factors in mind, the researchers, through reviewing the literature and analysis, speculated that appropriate increased exercise may reverse the high risk of dementia caused by insufficient sleep duration. Surprisingly, an analysis of the interaction between sleep, exercise, and sedentary behavior validated their conjecture. Therefore, the team finally identified the research direction to use large sample population studies to elaborate on the relationship between the three behaviors of sleep, exercise and sedentary behaviors and dementia.
“These three types of behaviors are most prevalent in everyday life, and if specific types of activities are ignored, people are occupied almost 24 hours a day by sleep, physical activity and meditation.” “Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of the role of these three types of behaviors in dementia, the development of the best quantitative parameters for each behavior, and therefore prescribe specific and actionable behavioral interventions, are critical to dementia prevention,” Yu said. ”
Using the UK Biobank cohort, the researchers included 431924 non-dementia participants aged 37 to 73. The participants were recruited between 2006 and 2010 with an average follow-up time of up to 9 years, during which time they reported the amount of sleep, sedentary hours, and overall amount of exercise and leisure exercise per week. During the follow-up period, 5390 participants were diagnosed with new-onset Dementia.
Based on these data, the research team explored the individual or joint relationship between the three types of behaviors and the risk of dementia, and delved into the linear or non-linear association patterns between each behavior and the risk of alzheimer’s development. In addition, the study used neuroimaging data to analyze the relationship between these three types of behaviors and brain structure and brain connections to explore the potential mechanism of action between each behavior and dementia.
The study found that there was a typical “U” shaped relationship between sleep duration and dementia risk, the optimal sleep duration was 7 hours/day, and too long or too short sleep duration increased the risk of dementia.
Exercise intensity and dementia risk are a sloped curve relationship, in a certain range of appropriate increase in the amount of exercise can significantly reduce the risk of dementia, but when the amount of exercise has reached a high level (that is, weekly leisure exercise has reached about 360 minutes of walking, or 300 minutes of moderate exercise, or 150 minutes of strenuous exercise of exercise), at this time continue to increase the amount of exercise will not further reduce the risk of dementia.
There was an overall “J” relationship between sedentary time and dementia risk, with meditation within 4 hours not significantly affecting the risk of dementia, but longer sedentation significantly increasing the risk of dementia.
Through the study, the joint team prescribed a highly operable electronic prescription for the prevention of dementia: 7 hours of sleep per night + moderate to high intensity exercise (equivalent to more than 120 minutes of walking per week, or more than 100 minutes of moderate exercise, or more than 50 minutes of strenuous exercise) + short period of meditation (less than 4 hours per day).
“This is the optimal recommended combination to reduce the risk of dementia by 41%.” Yu Jintai said.
The team also divided the study population into two groups: over 60 years old (elderly) and under 60 (middle age). The results showed that the adverse effects of long-term sedentary, especially continuous TV watching for more than 4 hours, and excessive exercise were more obvious to the middle-aged group than the elderly population; In the elderly population, the lack of active cognitive activity, such as never using a computer, is more pronounced.
In addition, while strenuous exercise at the same time within a certain range may seem to help reduce the risk of dementia more than low- to medium-intensity exercise, too much strenuous exercise may instead increase the risk of dementia. And low-intensity exercises like walking don’t change significantly in the risk of dementia — even if the weekly walking is long.
“Although these results need to be confirmed by further studies, based on the results of this study, we recommend a combination of different intensities of exercise and avoiding long periods of strenuous exercise as much as possible.” Yu Jintai said.
Breakthrough cognitive discoveries
“The combination of three simple daily actions can reduce the risk of dementia by 41%, and this result is unexpected.” “In particular, increasing exercise can reduce the high risk of dementia associated with too much or too short sleep, which is a breakthrough in cognition and a welcome discovery,” Yu said. ”
These results have been achieved thanks to the cross-fusion of clinical, imaging and big data analysis.
Yu Jintai is a first-line neurology clinician who has been exposed to a large number of patients with cognitive impairment and knows very well where the needs of patients are. Wei Cheng has rich experience in big data and neuroimaging analysis. The joint team also includes a number of teachers and graduate students from different cross-backgrounds in clinical medicine, applied mathematics, neuroimaging, bioinformatics, and computing.
“This has led to a closer integration of neuroimaging research and clinical practice, and through large-scale clinical cohort studies, while elucidating the relationship between sleep, exercise, and sedentary behaviors and dementia risk, combined with neuroimaging data, it further reveals the underlying mechanism behind these associations, that is, how these three behaviors interact with brain structure and brain connections to affect dementia risk.” Cheng Wei added. (Source: China Science Daily, Li Chenyang, Zhang Shuanghu, Huang Xin)
Related paper information:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01655-y