The French National Institute of Health Research conducted a study to evaluate the relationship between “metabolic syndrome” and its connection to memory decline in older adults. The study found that older people with risk factors for metabolic syndrome might be at a higher risk for memory loss.

The American Heart Association (AHA) describes metabolic syndrome as a group of risk factors that are related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries, and leads to an increase the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and other diseases. The study also found an increased risk for developing type 2 Diabetes, and says that the metabolic syndrome is becoming increasingly common in the United States, and is directly related to obesity. These conditions are associated with high risk of age-related memory loss.

Implications are that some specific components of this syndrome can cause increased impairment in memory performance. The study indicated that individuals with low HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), and high blood sugar showed a higher decline of overall cognitive function and memorizing ability, and those with diabetes showed an increased decline of visual memory and word fluency.

Currently, the recommended treatment for this syndrome is a memory fitness friendly lifestyle, or medications that help reduce weight, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. The goal is to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, especially in elderly people. Memory training and making changes in your memory fitness lifestyle is key to maintaining cognitive vitality into old age.

Another way to build up your heart muscles and improve overall health is through physical exercise. It has become evident through many different studies that physical exercise can lead to increased brain size, leading to improvements in memory performance in the short term as well as memory fitness over the long term, especially in older adults.

So, if you want to improve your memory, improve your heart health. Make necessary changes in your lifestyle, do physical exercises to help your body and your brain, and add brain exercises to help expand your brain and memory skills. You won’t end up a forgetful old person, and could even give me a run for my money in the next US Memory Championship.

This article was shared by Ron White here, the Memory Guy and two-time US Memory Champion.

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