Aboriginal people of the Amazon Tsimane tribe age their brains differently from those in the U.S. and Europe, which is reflected in a slower decrease in brain volume and most likely a lower risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. The secret of longevity lies in the traditional Indian way of life. This is the conclusion reached by scientists at the University of Southern California, whose article was published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A.
Tsimanes, who do not receive modern medical care, were thought to be at high risk for infectious diseases and, as a consequence, frequent inflammation. In turn, systemic inflammation leads to increased brain atrophy. At the same time, Tsimane were found to have the lowest rates of coronary heart disease in the world due to an active lifestyle and a low-calorie diet.
The study involved 746 Tsimane, aged 40 to 94, who had CT scans. They had a slower reduction in brain volume compared to groups of subjects from Germany, the U.S. and the Netherlands. Thus, cardiovascular health appeared to be more important for healthy brain aging than inflammatory factors associated with infectious diseases.
In general, modern lifestyles are accompanied by an increase in the rate of brain volume decline of about 70 percent, depending on age.