Here’s What You Need To Do To Prevent Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the USA and kills more patients than prostate and breast cancer together. Instead of telling us how to prevent the neurological disease, the medical community is focusing on how to stop the progression with therapy and drugs. But, if you want to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s, the best thing to do is to protect your brain from it.
Dementia is a mental disorder which causes cognitive decline that interferes with your lifestyle. The term describes a variety of symptoms that cause memory decline and loss which can be severe enough to prevent you from doing your daily activities.
In general, the symptoms of dementia are memory loss, communication problems, visual hallucinations, loss of focus and reduced reasoning and judgment. The symptoms of dementia can progress over time – it can start with forgetting where your keys are and make it hard to remember to eat later. Dementia interferes with proper cell communication which can affect your mental acuity.
Here are the risk factors for dementia:
- Head trauma;
- Alcohol abuse;
- No physical activity;
- Impaired thyroid function;
- Old age;
- Poor diet;
- Nutrient deficiencies;
- High cholesterol levels;
- High blood pressure;
- A family history of Alzheimer’s.
If you want to reduce the cognitive impaired brought on by aging and prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s, you’ll need to make some lifestyle changes.
Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia which is responsible for 60-80% of cases. Other varieties include Parkinson’s disease, vascular dementia, Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, mixed dementia, hydrocephalus and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
The earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease are forgetting names, recent events and locations, impaired judgment and communication, confusion, behavioral changes and difficulty speaking, walking or swallowing. Alzheimer’s disease is often caused by beta-amyloid deposits in the brain tissue and cellular damage and death.
Here are 9 tips and tricks which can help you prevent the disease:
Although smoking is usually related to increased risk of cardiovascular problems, it is also related to dementia. According to one study, the nasty habit may cause dementia later in life, which is why it’s best to quit smoking. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but several studies have found out that smoking raises oxidative stress and inflammation in the body which could ultimately lead to neurological problems. If you’re having trouble quitting, try some herbs which can detoxify your lungs of toxins.
Stay in shape
Staying physically active is one of the best ways of preventing a variety of diseases and conditions including dementia. Regular exercise will prevent oxidative damage and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and other serious ailments. According to one American study, exercising 3-5 times a week for half an hour can help you prevent dementia and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases including cancer.
The importance of vitamin B
Vitamin B is one of the most important vitamins for our health. It can reduce the levels of a harmful compound called homocysteine in our blood which can damage your brain. Increased homocysteine levels have been related to impaired judgment and dementia as well as other neurological problems.
Proper vitamin B levels in the body can slow down brain atrophy in patients who are suffering from mild cognitive decline. Thiamine is a form of vitamin B that can ensure proper energy production in the brain. Scientists have found a link between thiamine deficiency and Korsakoff syndrome, which shows how important it is for our brain health. Include vitamin B-rich foods into your diet such as eggs and dairy products to protect yourself from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin D is another important vitamin for our mental health. Lack of it has been known to cause mental and cognitive decline, and a study found a link between vitamin D deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as well. We get most of our vitamin D from the sun, so make sure to sunbath often. Additionally, you can also find vitamin D in many foods.
Train your brain
Learning new things will make your brain reorganize itself and make room for new information. This will also create new neuropathways which can connect new info and help your brain work better. According to a Canadian study, being bilingual significantly reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Playing crosswords and puzzles helps as well, as does learning to play a musical instrument.
Prevent head trauma
Injuring your head can cause dementia and other neurological problems. Some head injuries can cause memory loss and loss of focus, while others can lead to dementia. In order to prevent any kind of mental decline, you must protect your head by wearing a helmet when skiing, skating or riding a bike or motorcycle.
Reduce your alcohol consumption
Numerous studies have shown that alcohol abuse can indeed cause dementia and memory loss and even Alzheimer’s disease. To protect your brain from damage, reduce your alcohol consumption and stick to the 1-2 daily recommended drinks.
Track your numbers
As obesity, high cholesterol levels and diabetes are huge risk factors for dementia, it’s always important to keep track of your cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as your weight.
We are social creatures who need to stay connected to others in order to protect our brain. Isolation can damage the brain and wear it down, which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Spend time with the people you love more often, and you will help you brain work better as a result.