People – whether they have dementia and Alzheimer’s or not – show better mental performance at the end of the summer and early autumn, and their cerebral function deteriorates during the winter and spring months, according to a new international scientific study.
Until now, there have been few studies on the seasonal variation of cognitive-cognitive skills in middle and elderly people. The new study by researchers from the US, Canada and France analyzed data for 3,353 people who had undergone neuropsychological tests, as well as analysis of Alzheimer’s related proteins and genes.
The scientists, headed by Dr. Andrew Lim of the University of Toronto who published the publication in the medical journal PLoS Medicine, found that on average (not all individuals individually) cognitive skills are higher in summer and autumn , while decreasing in winter and spring. The seasonal “gap” reaches an age difference of almost five years.
The probability of having symptoms of mild cognitive impairment or dementia during the winter and spring periods than in the summer and autumn is about 30% greater. This is true regardless of other risk factors, such as depression, sleep quality, physical activity and thyroid health.
The same seasonality is also observed in the levels of proteins and genes associated with Alzheimer’s and is present in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid.
Researchers have highlighted the need for doctors to take into account the seasonality of the symptoms, especially when they are more intense in the winter and early spring.