SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Korea Bizwire) – Due to the continuous efforts of researchers, numerous ways to prevent dementia are now being suggested. Recent studies have found that using the brain more could prevent dementia. Also, a substance that might be able to prevent and treat dementia has been found in skate (fish) skin.
According to a survey conducted on 128 adult males and females, in which respondents were asked which disease they dreaded having when they are old, 27 percent answered dementia, which topped all other illnesses.
Even so, currently there isn’t any medication that can suppress or prevent the fundamental cause of the disease.
However, professor Byun Hee-guk from the Wonju University Marine Biological Laboratory and his team have discovered matter that suppresses the formation of one of the substances that causes dementia, and protects brain cells from toxins.
The material was found in the skins of skate fish, and doesn’t have side effects such as liver toxicity, vomiting, and stomach disturbances that existing medication has.
Another study suggests that in order to prevent dementia, one should keep on learning even in old age.
The health and medication research lab of the neurology department at Seoul Samsung hospital reported the results of their research. The results were also published in an issue of ‘Neurology’, an international journal.
Participants with an average age of 63.8 were divided into two groups, a group that had an education of less than 12 years (977 people), and another group that had an education of over 12 years (982 people). The thickness of their cerebral cortex was compared.
The cerebral cortex is an area where 25 percent of all the brain nerves are gathered, controlling our senses, memory, consciousness and exercise functions. It gets thinner and thinner as one ages, and until now, there is no way to stop the process. The cerebral cortex is especially thin among patients with Alzheimer’s.
The results of the study showed that the group with less than 12 years of education had a thinner cerebral cortex than the group with more than 12 years of education.
Also, the speed in which the thickness of the cerebral cortex was reduced turned out to be different between the groups. While the group with more than 12 years of education showed a reduction of 5 μm (micrometers) per year, the group with less than 12 years of education was experiencing a faster decrease, at 6μm per year.
The research team explained that education delayed the aging of the brain, preventing dementia. “Through this study, we can see that the easiest way to prevent dementia is to increase activity in the brain. As average life spans are increasing, we should all start thinking about ‘lifelong studying’, continuously learning and mastering something.”
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)