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New Health Findings for Pittsboro Residents: Researcher Reveals Dementia Risks

October 4, 2016

Dementia strikes over 47 million people worldwide and in the United States, there are over 5 million individuals with age-related dementias. Scientists are urgently researching the disease and trying to solve the mystery of why the disease affects some, but not others. One researcher, Dr. Ruth Peters is trying to pinpoint risk factors for dementia, particularly those that individuals have the power to change, such as weight, blood pressure and alcohol intake.

Among her latest findings is that large amounts of fatty foods and living in polluted areas may increase the risk of dementia. However, regular exercise and keeping cholesterol at healthy levels may lower the risk. Her research has shown that keeping a healthy blood circulation throughout your body is crucial for lowering dementia risk. She has found that a healthy heart, arteries and veins ensures the brain receives an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients which helps the neurons function properly. Basically, whatever is good for your heart is good for your brain. She is currently studying whether blood pressure medication can improve cognitive function or if one type of medicine works better than another. A previous study showed a blood pressure medicine with a calcium channel blocker might improve cognitive function, but her latest findings don’t suggest this. She feels there are still large gaps in scientific knowledge when it comes to dementia risk.
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