5. Research news in brief spring 2017
Regular saunas could reduce the risk of dementia, according to a new study. Middle-aged men in Finland who take a sauna more than four times a week were two-thirds less likely to develop dementia over a 20-year period. However, this type of study alone cannot tell us whether starting a regular sauna habit is a worthwhile way to improve brain health.
An increasing amount of evidence indicates that eating a healthy diet rich in oily fish, fresh vegetables and nuts is good for your brain and can help to maintain your memory as you get older. A recent study suggests that a Mediterranean-style diet could help to slow brain shrinkage due to ageing, though we can’t yet say that it prevents dementia.
Link to kidney damage
Protein in urine – particularly a protein called albumin – may be linked to an increased risk of problems with thinking and memory skills or even of developing dementia in later life. This could be because kidney damage and dementia share risk factors or because kidney damage affects the brain. More detailed research with large numbers of people is needed to confirm the link.