Memory loss is often an unfortunate part of the aging process. Researchers have not yet unraveled all the factors responsible for degeneration of the cells of our brains. However, several studies are bringing to light new risk factors associated with memory loss. In recent studies, researchers have found obesity and hypertension as two major factors responsible for cognitive decline.
Obesity and memory loss
According to a UCLA study, obesity can increase the risk of brain degeneration. While comparing the brain tissue mass of obese, overweight and normal weight individuals, researchers have found that compared to a normal weight person, an obese individual and an overweight individual had 8 percent and 4 percent less brain tissues respectively. Loss of brain tissue leads to cognitive decline, including debilitating conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
This study further found that an obese person loses brain tissues in nearly every part of the brain, including frontal lobe, temporal lobe, cingulated gyrus, hippocampus and basal ganglia. The frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are associated with memory and planning, and the hippocampus deals with long-term memory. Loss in brain tissues in these parts causes memory loss. Moreover, the brain of an obese person appears 16 years older than the brain of a person with normal body weight.
You can therefore realize that healthy eating and physical activities are not only good for your physical health, but they are equally important for your mental health.
Hypertension and memory loss
Hypertension is another factor that increases the risk of memory loss with aging. A recent study supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, found the high blood pressure can lead to cognitive decline after 45. High diastolic pressure, which is the bottom reading of the blood pressure level, is largely responsible for memory impairment. Every 10-point increase in the diastolic pressure above the normal level increases the risk of cognitive decline by 7 percent. High diastolic pressure weakens the tiny arteries present in our brains, facilitating degeneration of brain cells. To prevent memory loss, you should therefore strive to prevent hypertension through exercises and diet.