Study says, ‘Get Out’

viewTo be overly succinct, my job as UtahOutsider is to get out on the trail and then to write about it. The work requires a healthy mind and a healthy body. Mens sana in corpore sano.

Now, we have evidence to support the belief that physical fitness, good diet, and enjoying the outdoors are essential components to healthy living, especially as we age.

In the September issue of Aging, Dr. Dale Bredesen published compelling research on the reversal of cognitive decline with novel therapies.

Here’s the gist of the study:

The team reversed Alzheimer-related symptoms in patients through:

  • Exercise
  • Reduction of stress (yoga, meditation, etc.)
  • Good sleep
  • Good diet (cutting out sugars, reducing gluten and processed food, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption as well as non-farmed fish)

The UCLA-based researchers saw nearly all the patients improve with no negative side effects. (I still find it hilarious that simple, earnest living is labeled here as ‘novel therapies.’) The results provide stark contrast to what happens with patients on Alzheimer drugs. They typically can only hope to delay steady decline with an accompanying host of unfortunate side effects.

intermountain healthcare logo 06This incredible development (albeit kind of a bummer for Alzheimer drug companies) comes right as Intermountain Healthcare is poised to open a new Memory Clinic at American Fork. It will serve the state’s growing senior population.

In about a month, it will open two days per week.

“As word gets out, we plan to expand to five days a week, running at full capacity within the year,” said Kyle Wilson, an Intermountain manager, who added that some studies project the number of dementia cases in Utah to double in the next 10 years.

Dr. Stephen Peters, an Intermountain neuropsychologist specializing in dementia, will serve as the clinic’s director (He’s also my significant other). Dr. Peters is all about helping patients be proactive about preserving optimal brain functioning as they get older and has given presentations advocating exercise and diets rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

49539Of the UCLA study, he said, “It’s good science. The research shows tremendous promise and is one of the few non-pharmaceutical approaches with good efficacy. The dementia drugs have been discouraging.”

In other words, forget about meds. (The study did, however, recommend several supplements like coenzyme Q, vitamins B and D, fish oil, and others.)

Get out there, eat well, take time to chill, and get your rest. It just happens to have been UtahOutsider’s way all along.

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