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Seniors that make healthier lifestyle choices can reduce their risk for dementia, according to a new study.

Seniors that make healthier lifestyle choices can reduce their risk for dementia, according to a new study.

Adopting healthier lifestyles can help seniors ward off dementia and boost memory support in their later years, according to a new study out of Finland.

The study's findings, reported by HealthDay News, determined that elderly people who began making healthier choices in their life yielded better results on problem-solving and memory tests than those who stuck to their regular, unhealthy habits. These healthier choices include:

  • Eating right
  • Indulging in "brain games" to keep the mind sharp
  • Regularly exercising
  • Socializing with others more.

The Finnish researchers evaluated 1,260 people between ages 60 and 77 who had exhibited risks for Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Half of the subjects were instructed to undergo the aforementioned lifestyle changes and were given guidance on how to improve their nutrition, workout routines and socializing activities. The other half of participants were given no such lifestyle change. Consequently, the former group fared considerably better on tests that gauged memory recall and quick-thinking more than the latter group.

"This is the first study to definitively show that changing your lifestyle will reduce your risk for cognitive decline," Keith Fargo, the scientific programs and outreach director of the Alzheimer's Association, told the source. "[But] I don't think you can say the risk goes away altogether. As people age, they will have some decline in their cognitive abilities. That's just a part of aging. But try to maintain healthy activities, a healthy lifestyle, in middle age and later, and that's going to help reduce your risk for cognitive decline."

According to HealthDay News, the Finnish team is planning a follow-up evaluation over the next seven years to map out the progression of Alzheimer's and dementia in the study's subjects.

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