How do I effectively protect myself from dementia and Alzheimer's?
Unfortunately, more and more people are getting Alzheimer's these days. Researchers have now found that a combination of sleep, exercise, and a small amount of alcohol can prevent dangerous build-up of sticky plaque that drives the development of dementia.
In their research, University College London (UCL) scientists found that sleep, exercise, and the consumption of small amounts of alcohol can protect against the development of dementia.
How can plaque accumulation be prevented?
The brain has a kind of internal drain, which must be kept free to prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, the experts explain. A combination of sleep, exercise, and a small amount of alcohol stimulate this drain, preventing the dangerous build-up of sticky plaques.
Sleep is critical to the glyphatic system
Regular training and a good night's sleep help to slow or even prevent mental decline. Scientists have known this for a long time, but it was not clear why this effect occurs. Animal studies have shown that exercise and a good night's sleep strengthen the brain's self-cleaning glyphatic system. This system removes the so-called amyloid protein, which can accumulate and then prevent the brain cells from communicating with each other. The system is 60 percent more active at night, which shows that sleep is crucial for its correct functioning, the authors of the study explain. This is good evidence that the glyphatic system is active during sleep.
Sleep and exercise protect against dementia
The statement makes perfect sense. When the brain is active during the day, so-called waste products are produced, so it is actually only possible to break them down at night when the brain is not active. The glyphatic system is then activated and all waste products are disposed of, the doctors explain. Studies in mice have shown similar results in sports. If the animals had voluntary access to exercise, there was a massive increase in lymph function, the scientists are quoted by the English-language journal The Telegraph.
Small amounts of alcohol cleanse the brain
The mice were also treated with low, medium and high doses of alcohol for 30 days. The influence on the glymphatic system was examined. By taking low doses of alcohol, there was a 30 percent to 40 percent increase in brain self-cleansing, the researchers explain. However, a reduction in the protective effect was found when medium or large amounts of alcohol were consumed. In other words: the daily consumption of 25 milliliters of wine can support the glyphatic system. But even eating a slightly higher amount of wine leads to a deterioration in the glymphatic system. People should generally pay more attention to their sleep and do more sports. You can even drink alcohol, but only a small amount, the doctors advise. (as)