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Una dieta saludable y el ejercicio podrían mantener a raya al Alzheimer


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Un estudio encontró que las personas que son activas y comen bien tienen menos efectos cerebrales vinculados con la enfermedad.

Por Steven Reinberg
Reportero de HealthDay

MIÉRCOLES, 17 de agosto de 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Una dieta saludable y el ejercicio regular podrían ser las claves para mantener el cerebro libre de los cambios que conducen a la enfermedad de Alzheimer, sugiere un pequeño estudio.

Los investigadores estudiaron a 44 pacientes de 40 a 85 años de edad que tenían problemas leves de memoria. Encontraron que los cerebros de los que seguían una dieta mediterránea y eran físicamente activos tenían menos placas y nudos, una característica del Alzheimer, que aquellos cuyas dietas eran menos saludables y eran menos activos.

"Se sabe que la enfermedad de Alzheimer es incurable, pero hasta hace poco no se había pensado que puede ser prevenible", comentó el investigador líder, el Dr. David Merrill, profesor clínico asistente de psiquiatría y ciencias de la conducta de la Facultad de Medicina David Geffen de la UCLA, en Los Ángeles.

Numerosos estudios han sugerido que un estilo de vida saludable se relaciona con un encogimiento cerebral reducido y unas tasas más bajas de atrofia en el tejido del cerebro, señaló.

Pero este es el primer estudio en mostrar la forma en que los factores del estilo de vida influyen de forma directa en los niveles de depósitos anómalos de proteína en el cerebro que hace mucho se han vinculado con la enfermedad de Alzheimer. Además, los sujetos del estudio fueron personas con pérdida sutil de la memoria que todavía no habían sido diagnosticadas con demencia, anotó Merrill.

"El hecho de que pudiéramos detectar esta influencia del estilo de vida a un nivel molecular en un paciente con síntomas tan iniciales nos sorprendió", dijo.

Los hallazgos refuerzan la importancia de vivir una vida saludable para la "prevención del desarrollo de la patología cerebral del Alzheimer, incluso antes del desarrollo de una demencia clínicamente significativa", planteó Merrill.

El informe aparece en la edición del 16 de agosto de la revista American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

En el estudio, Merrill y sus colaboradores sometieron a los pacientes a TEP para determinar los niveles de depósitos de proteína en sus cerebros. Los investigadores observaron en específico los niveles de los depósitos de beta amiloidea en los espacios entre las células nerviosas, además de los nudos, que son ovillos de la proteína tau dentro de las células del cerebro. Ambos son indicadores del Alzheimer.

Los investigadores encontraron que los factores del estilo de vida, como un peso sano, la actividad física y una dieta mediterránea se vinculaban con unos niveles más bajos de placas y nudos.

Una dieta mediterránea es rica en frutas, verduras, legumbres, cereales y pescado, y baja en carne, lácteos y grasas saturadas.

Merrill dijo que el próximo paso es combinar escáneres del cerebro con estudios sobre los cambios en la dieta, el ejercicio y otros factores del estilo de vida, como el estrés y la salud mental.

Heather Snyder es directora principal de operaciones médicas y científicas de la Asociación del Alzheimer (Alzheimer's Association). "En el campo se está luchando con esta idea de que el estilo de vida puede influir en los cambios cerebrales vistos en la enfermedad de Alzheimer", comentó.

"De verdad deseamos comprender cómo las conductas pueden cambiar la biología subyacente vinculada con el Alzheimer", añadió Snyder.

Varias conductas parecen ser importantes para mantener el cerebro sano, sobre todo el ejercicio y gestionar los riesgos de enfermedad cardiaca, como la diabetes, la hipertensión y el colesterol alto, explicó.

"Hay muchas ideas distintas sobre qué podría estar sucediendo, pero todavía no sabemos cuál es la biología subyacente", dijo Snyder.

Mientras tanto, la Asociación del Alzheimer ofrece 10 formas de amar a su cerebro:

Ejercite el cuerpo.

Ejercite el cerebro yendo a una clase.

No fume.

Controle la presión arterial y la diabetes.

Coma una dieta saludable.

Duerma bien. Trate el insomnio y la apnea del sueño.

Busque ayuda para la depresión y la ansiedad.

Sea socialmente activo.

Desafíe su mente con juegos, arte y pasatiempos.

Proteja su cabeza. Use un cinturón de seguridad, use un casco al andar en bicicleta, y tome medidas para prevenir las caídas.

La enfermedad de Alzheimer afecta a un estimado de 5.4 millones de personas en Estados Unidos, y resulta en más de 200 mil millones de dólares al año en costos de atención de la salud, según la Asociación del Alzheimer.

https://consumer.healthday.com/cognitive-health-information-26/alzheimer-s-news-20/una-dieta-saludable-y-el-ejercicio-podr-iacute-an-mantener-a-raya-al-alzheimer-714018.html

 

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