Green Space May Cut Dementia Risk For Middle-aged Women

walk in woods healthy 4 18

Living in an area bursting with green space is associated with higher overall cognitive function in middle-aged women, as well as better mental processing speed and attention, according to a new study.

Cognitive function at middle age is considered a strong predictor of whether a person may develop dementia later in life.

According to the researchers, who studied nearly 14,000 women with an average age of 61, a reduction in depression, a risk factor for dementia, may explain the link between greenery and cognitive function.

The study in JAMA Network Open bolsters previous research that has linked exposure to parks, community gardens, and other greenery with improved mental health.

“Some of the primary ways that nature may improve health is by helping people recover from psychological stress and by encouraging people to be outside socializing with friends, both of which boost mental health,” says lead author Marcia Pescador Jimenez, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health.

“This study is among the few to provide evidence that green space may benefit cognitive function in older ages. Our findings suggest that green space should be investigated as a potential population-level approach to improve cognitive function.”

For the study, Pescador Jimenez and her colleagues measured psychomotor speed, attention, learning, and working memory among primarily white women. The women were participants in the Nurses’ Health Study II, the second of three studies that are among the largest investigations into the risk factors for chronic diseases among women in the United States.

Adjusting for age, race, and individual and neighborhood socioeconomic status, the researchers found that green space exposure—which they estimated using a satellite image–based metric called the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index—was associated with psychomotor speed and attention, but not learning or working memory.

They also examined the potential roles of air pollution and physical activity in explaining the association between green space and cognitive function, and they were surprised to only find evidence of depression as a mediating factor.

“We theorize that depression might be an important mechanism through which green space may slow down cognitive decline, particularly among women, but our research is ongoing to better understand these mechanisms,” Pescador Jimenez says.


 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

“Based on these results, clinicians and public health authorities should consider green space exposure as a potential factor to reduce depression, and thus, boost cognition. Policymakers and urban planners should focus on adding more green space in everyday life to improve cognitive function.”

In a new project funded by the National Institute on Aging, Pescador Jimenez will apply deep learning algorithms to Google Street View images to better understand which specific elements of greenery, such as trees or grass, could be the driving factors for health.

The researchers also hope that their study is replicated among other racial/ethnic populations.

“The distribution of green spaces in cities is not uniform,” says Pescador Jimenez. “Increasing everyday access to vegetation across vulnerable groups in urban cities is a crucial next step to achieve health equity.”

Additional coauthors are from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Rush Medical College.

The National Institutes of Health supported the work.

Source: Boston University


Recommended Books: Health

Fresh Fruit CleanseFresh Fruit Cleanse: Detox, Lose Weight and Restore Your Health with Nature's Most Delicious Foods [Paperback] by Leanne Hall.
Lose weight and feel vibrantly healthy while clearing your body of toxins. Fresh Fruit Cleanse offers everything you need for an easy and powerful detox, including day-by-day programs, mouth-watering recipes, and advice for transitioning off the cleanse.
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.

Thrive FoodsThrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health [Paperback] by Brendan Brazier.
Building upon the stress-reducing, health-boosting nutritional philosophy introduced in his acclaimed vegan nutrition guide Thrive, professional Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier now turns his attention to your dinner plate (breakfast bowl and lunch tray too).
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.

Death by Medicine by Gary NullDeath by Medicine by Gary Null, Martin Feldman, Debora Rasio and Carolyn Dean
The medical environment has become a labyrinth of interlocking corporate, hospital, and governmental boards of directors, infiltrated by the drug companies. The most toxic substances are often approved first, while milder and more natural alternatives are ignored for financial reasons. It's death by medicine.
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.


More Articles By This Author

You May Also Like

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeeliwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptroruesswsvthtrukurvi

MOST READ

a young man meditation outside
How to Meditate and Why
by Joseph Selbie
Meditation gives us greater access to nonlocal realities: uplifting and harmonizing emotions,…
home solar systems 9 30
When The Power Grid Goes Out, Can Solar Power Your Home?
by Will Gorman et al
In many disaster- and outage-prone areas, people are starting to ask whether investing in rooftop…
covid changed personalities 9 28
How The Pandemic Has Changed Our Personalities
by Jolanta Burke
Evidence shows that significant events in our personal lives which induce severe stress or trauma…
tropical diseases 9 24
Why Tropical Diseases In Europe May Not Be Rare For Much Longer
by Michael Head
Dengue, a viral infection spread by mosquitoes, is a common disease in parts of Asia and Latin…
right sleep position 9 28
Here Are The Right Ways To Sleep
by Christian Moro and Charlotte Phelps
Even though sleep may be, as one researcher put it, “the only major behaviour in search of a…
why stength training 9 30
Why You Should Be Strength Training and How To Do It
by Jack McNamara
One advantage of strength training over cardio is that it doesn’t require the same level of oxygen…
ladder reaching up to the moon
Explore Your Resistance to Life’s Opportunities
by Beth Bell
I didn’t truly understand the phrase “never say never” until I started recognizing I was…
how dogs detect stress 9 28
How Dogs Know If You Are Stressed
by Clara Wilson
Dogs have a long history alongside humans, giving them an amazing ability to read human cues.

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.