This doesn’t say quite what they say it says

People with the worst genetic risk of dementia can reduce their chances of developing the disease by a third through exercise and healthy eating, new research finds.

The first study to analyse the combined effect of genetic and lifestyle factors established that the impact of living healthily was enough to substantially lessen the danger from bad genes.

Regular moderate exercise, quitting smoking, drinking sensibly, plus eating lots of fish and vegetables, was linked to roughly the same reduction in the chance of dementia, regardless of genetic risk, the research found.

OK, so there’s dementia caused by bad diet, that caused by genes. That caused by bad diet has risk of reduced by not having a bad diet.

Fair enough.

This means the benefit of adopting a healthy lifestyle is likely to be highest for those with the worst genes.


12 thoughts on “This doesn’t say quite what they say it says”

  1. I sort of get it. If you are more prone to getting the problem then the steps that you take to avoid getting it will make a greater difference. I am a diabetic, I exercise regularly and watch my carb intake because the consequences of me not doing so are much worse than for non diabetics. So therefore I gain more benefit from my diet and exercise regime than a non diabetic would.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    One of the reasons I’ve given up on the MSM is that its now possible to read, watch or listen to the leading researchers in any field without the MSM mangling the story to an extent it is incomprehensible or spinning it to meet the social fashion du jour.

    In this case:

    Dale E. Bredesen, M.D., is a professor of neurology at the Easton Laboratories for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

    Dr. Bredesen’s laboratory focuses on identifying and understanding basic mechanisms underlying the neurodegenerative process and the translation of this knowledge into effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. He has collaborated on the publication of more than 220 academic research papers.

    He and his colleagues have identified several subtypes of Alzheimer’s disease and has developed ReCODE – reversal of cognitive decline – a protocol that offers a new approach to treatment that has reversed symptoms in patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Available on iTunes and I assume most podcast platforms.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    A couple of times recently I’ve been told a comment is duplicate but it doesn’t appear here and its just happened again. Are some of them going in to moderation?

  4. True, BiND. This report has hallmarks of junk journalism.

    ‘new research finds’

    ‘The first study’

    Hype. Not science.

  5. If someone is genetically disposed to a certain disease, then that risk might be increased by environmental factors that would not increase the risk as much for those without the genetic predisposition.

    But. Increased risk can come from multiple factors and combinations thereof, and have differing effects on different individuals depending on a variety of other genetic and environmental factors.

    Singling out one factor as the increased risk factor with a remedy for it, is what witch-doctors and snake-oil salesmen do.

  6. “plus eating lots of fish and vegetables”: so a healthy diet is that recommended by your Grandma and Jeeves.

    Put otherwise, be sure to have some mushy peas or pickled onions with your fish and chips.

  7. Bloke in Lower Hutt

    Surely a diet bad enough that one drops dead at the age of 40 will also likely reduce the risk of developing dementia? Where do I apply for research funding?

  8. What the journalist actually says is that the increase in risk is the same for those with and without genetic predisposition. So the risk goes up from 30% to 40% and from 10% to 20%.
    That means the benefits are greater for those without genetic predisposition as it halves the risk rather than reducing it by one-quarter.
    Of course my numbers are made up to show it simply but the relative position is true.
    Either the journalist has got his/her facts wrong of his/her conclusion wrong.

  9. But John, wouldn’t you have to know whether you were predispositioned to know if eating lots of fish and vegetables would be worthwhile?

    Wait. Never mind. I’m not going to eat lots of fish and vegetables, regardless.

    Drink sensibly? What does that mean? Seems to miss the point.

  10. @ Gamecock
    Actually – No. If you care enough the risk of dementia then eating fish and vegetables is worthwhile. If you don’t care enough about the risk of dementia to eat fish and vegetables it isn’t worth it WHETHER OR NOT you are genetically predisposed.
    Anecdatum alert. After he had a heart attack my father was put on a diet designed to reduce the risk of a second, fatal, heart attack including “Flora” a soya-based margarine instead of butter. After trying “Flora” for a week or three he refused to eat it any more saying that it wasn’t worth it. The reduction in quality of life was greater than the expected reduction in life expectancy.

  11. “The reduction in quality of life was greater than the expected reduction in life expectancy.”

    Butterophobia is a load of codswallop anyway, courtesy of a bent American medical scientist, Ancel Keys, and decades of untruthful Government propaganda.

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