MIT professor reveals key to maintaining healthy brain function and averting dementia

Maintaining healthy brain function is no secret, an MIT professor and expert who focuses on diseases such as Alzheimer’s has said.

“People actually know what they should be doing” to preserve their memory, neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai, who directs The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, said.

“I think that if you just keep a routine, you know, you do it,” Tsai told Insider. “I mean, I think that’s the only way to do it.”

“I think people actually know what they should be doing to stay healthy and to preserve their memory,” he pointed out.

Individuals with a healthier lifestyle had slower memory decline compared to those who did not, a British Medical Journal study that followed 30,000 people in China for 10 years recently revealed.

For the study, experts looked at habits such as whether people had a healthy diet, if they exercised regularly, whether they have regular social contact, how their cognitive activities are and if they abstained from smoking and alcohol.

Speaking of how she maintains her brain functions personally, Tsai said: “I just have to really discipline myself.”

“For instance, exercise in the winter: it’s really painful when you look at outside temperature below zero and there’s ice and snow on the ground. I just try to discipline myself.”

Earlier this month, the BMC Medicine journal published the findings of scientists who found the food types that can reduce chances of dementia by up to 23 per cent.

The findings are based on data from more than 60,000 individuals from the UK Biobank – an online database of medical and lifestyle records of more than half a million Britons.

“Our study suggests that eating a more Mediterranean-like diet could be one strategy to help individuals lower their risk of dementia,” said Oliver Shannon, lecturer in human nutrition and ageing at Newcastle University.