18 October 2015
The key to reducing the risk of memory loss ... is you
Research has suggested that combining good nutrition with mental, social and physical activities may have a greater benefit in maintaining or improving brain health than any single activity.
For World Menopause Day this year the International Menopause Society (IMS) is highlighting that after menopause, the risk of memory loss increases, but simple lifestyle changes can help prevent the effects of ageing and maintain brain health and alertness.
In the White Paper: Individually modifiable risk factors to ameliorate cognitive aging: a systematic review and meta-analysis  the IMS undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify the individually modifiable risk factors to ameliorate cognitive ageing.
Lead author Professor Victor Henderson commented: "Each of us is responsible for our own health, and many aspects of healthy ageing are under our direct control. These include, for example, smoking cessation and regular exercise. Concerns with memory and cognitive abilities are increasingly common in midlife and older adulthood.
"For cognitive ageing, advice abounds, but it is less certain what the individual can do to maintain or improve her mental abilities. The White Paper and the accompanying materials highlight a number of health and lifestyle factors that are thought to contribute to cognitive decline associated with age.
"The White Paper sought evidence on 12 individually modifiable interventions with the potential to ameliorate cognitive ageing. Whilst most individually modifiable risk factors have not yet been adequately studied, results suggested that the Mediterranean diet supplemented by olive oil and tai chi exercise may improve global cognition, and the Mediterranean diet plus olive oil and soy isoflavone supplements may improve memory. Cognitive training and other forms of mental activity may have cognitive benefit as well.
"We conclude that some interventions that can be self-initiated by healthy midlife and older adults may reduce the impact of cognitive ageing."
A patient information leaflet: What comes to mind – menopause and the ageing brain?  has been developed. This comprehensive booklet offers:
- positive advice on preventative strategies to prevent cognitive decline
- an explanation of the difference between cognitive decline and dementia,
- advice on how to prevent memory loss in midlife
- the top 10 tips for women to improve brain health and function.
- P. Lehert, P. Villaseca, E. Hogervorst, P. M. Maki & V. W. Henderson (2015) Individually modifiable risk factors to ameliorate cognitive aging: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Climacteric, 18:5, 678-689 http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13697137.2015.1078106
- IMS patient information leaflet: What comes to mind – menopause and the aging brain?