Earlier this month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will only cover the cost of aducanumab—a new Alzheimer’s disease (AD) drug that I’ve talked about here before—when taken as part of a clinical trial.
This sensible action will drastically limit how many people will ever take this disastrous drug. And that’s actually good news! After all, research reveals it causes BRAIN SWELLING, but doesn’t delay (much less treat) the onset of AD one iota.
Why any doctor in their right mind would prescribe this dangerous drug is beyond me. Especially when you consider the many safe, effective, and natural options for preventing cognitive decline.
In fact, two recent studies suggest that maintaining an active, daily routine—filled with activities such as walking, gardening, cooking, and housework—could be the KEY to staying mentally sharp into your 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond.
Let’s jump right in…
Walking speed tied to cognitive sharpness
I’ve reported quite a bit over the years about the connection between gait (walking speed and strength) and cognitive function. And the first new study I’ll cover today adds to that body of research…
For this study, researchers followed a group of older European-American and Mexican-American adults (ages 65 to 74 years) for up to 14 years. And at the study’s outset, they assessed the participants’ gait and cognitive function.
Most participants began the study with high scores for both gait and cognition. But throughout the study period, they seemed to fall into three general patterns:
- 65 percent of the participations maintained both a stable gait and cognition.
- 22 percent experienced a deterioration of both gait and cognition.
- 12 percent remained stable cognitively, but experienced a deterioration of their gait.
So, as you can see, for the large majority of participants in the study (87 percent of them), changes in gait and cognition occurred together. Specifically, they either both stayed strong…or they both declined.
That finding led the researchers to conclude that there are shared mechanisms for protecting physical functions and mental functions. In other words, whatever helps you maintain your healthy walking speed and strength as you get older…also seems to help you maintain a healthy brain.
So, if you ever needed a little motivation to pick up the pace and walk a little more, here it is!
One easy way to add more walking to your week is to park at the far end of the parking lot when running errands. Then, walk at a brisk pace to your destination.
Now, let’s move onto another recent study that suggests working more around the house with your hands can also help support your brain as you get older…
Handgrip strength is also tied to cognition
This second study looked at the connection between handgrip strength and cognition in more than 17,000 adults ages 50 years and older (median age 65 years).
At the study’s outset, the researchers assessed all the participants’ cognitive function. (They considered a score of 11 or less among people ages 50 to 64 years, and 10 or less among those 65 and older, as “lower” in cognitive status.)
Then, they measured all the participants’ handgrip strength using a special tool called a dynamometer. And here’s what they found…
- 48 percent of participants had similar grip strength (“symmetrical”) in both hands.
- 43 percent had significantly greater grip strength (“asymmetrical”) in their dominant hand.
- 9 percent had greater grip strength (“asymmetrical”) in their non-dominant hand.
In addition, the researchers saw a clear connection between handgrip strength and cognitive status. In fact, compared to participants with a strong, symmetrical grip in both hands, participants with…
- General grip weakness had a 64 percent increased risk of lower cognitive function.
- Asymmetrical handgrip strength had a 15 percent increased risk of lower cognitive function.
- Weakness and asymmetrical handgrip strength had a 95 percent higher risk.
- Significantly more weakness in their non-dominant hand had a staggering 110 percent higher risk!
Clearly, handgrip weakness and asymmetry—like declining gait—are big predictors of cognitive decline. So, I urge you to find things to do around the house—starting today—to help you maintain…and even increase—your handgrip strength, too!
These kinds of simple, daily tasks can help:
- Prep and cook your favorite meal.
- Bake some bread.
- Pull weeds.
- Plant some flowers or herbs.
- Build something with wood.
- Start a sewing project.
- Use your hands—instead of tools—to open jars.
- Put together a puzzle.
- Try calligraphy or origami.
- Fold and iron the laundry.
- Write a letter by hand to a friend or family member.
- Paint (or color) a picture.
- Clip coupons.
- Play the piano (or another instrument).
- Brush the dog or cat.
- Braid your hair or someone else’s.
- Go fishing.
I also encourage you to ask your doctor to assess your gait and handgrip strength. (Some good health practitioners already do this—typically to assess muscle function.)
To learn more about the many drug-free, cutting-edge approaches to protecting and restoring brain health—and fighting dementia and AD—check out my Complete Alzheimer’s Fighting Protocol. Learn more about this comprehensive, online learning tool, or enroll today, by clicking here now!