Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily life. Dementia can appear in many forms, including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and vascular dementia. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for an estimated 60-80% of cases.
Dementia gets worse if the root cause is not treated. Apathy, depression, and memory loss are some of the most common symptoms.
We give you some of the risk factors that can be controlled/treated:
- Head injuries
- Impaired thyroid function
- Insufficient physical activity
- Malnutrition/Vitamin deficiencies
- Medication that worsens the condition
- High cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and other cardiovascular issues
8 ways to reduce the risk of dementia:
Smoking damages every part of your body, including your brain. Studies have shown that smokers have a 45% higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease when compared to non- or ex-smokers. So, you better keep that cigarette away from you.
2. Take Vitamin D
Studies have shown a correlation between low levels of Vitamin D and cognitive decline, leading to symptoms of dementia. Supplementing with Vitamin D can help protect the body against processes that lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The best way to get Vitamin D is through the sun, but taking a supplement might help if you aren’t able to get outside as much as you’d like too. It could also be helpful during the winter months!
3. Challenge Your Brain
Challenging your brain on a regular basis has some amazing benefits! Studies have shown that being bilingual delays the onset of symptoms of dementia by almost five years, compared to elderly adults who only speak one language. Another study found that doing crossword puzzles on a regular basis can delay the onset of memory decline by 2.5 years.
4. Be more active
Getting your blood moving and your heart pumping on a regular basis is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your vascular system. Exercising is the best preventative medicine for many chronic health concerns. About 30 minutes a day of moderate activity is enough to see health benefits.
5. Control Your Alcohol Intake
Studies have shown that people who drink alcohol excessively have the highest risk of developing dementia, compared to those who drink no alcohol or consume moderate amounts of alcohol. Controlling your alcohol intake can help prevent numerous health problems, including dementia.
6. Protect Yourself Against Head Injuries
Wear a helmet when you’re on a bike! It’s a simple but very important way you can protect your brain from damage. If you’re doing anything else that might be dangerous, such as participating in water sports or hitting the ski slopes, consider a helmet as well.
7. Take Vitamin B
B vitamins can be helpful in lowering levels of a molecule called homocysteine or HC. This molecule is known to damage the vascular system. Having a high level can contribute to the risk of heart disease, stroke and other vascular problems. Taking a B complex vitamin can help protect the body from age-related cognitive decline.
8. Track Your Numbers
Keep track of your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight. Knowing your numbers can help you find a problem early on. Cardiovascular and metabolic health are some of the most important predictors of dementia! Keep your body healthy in order to keep your mind healthy.