The generally adopted term for decline in mental ability which is severe enough to interfere with man’s daily life is called dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with an estimated 60-80% of cases, and memory loss is an example of dementia. Dementia can also appear in many other forms, such as Parkinson’s disease, vascular dementia and Huntington’s disease.
Dementia in brief
Dementia is an overall term and it is not a specific disease, but it describes symptoms which can range from decline of thinking ability skill, or memory loss. These thinking ability skills can be mild or severe enough so that a person will become unable to perform his or her everyday activities. However, there can be many other conditions causing dementia like vitamin deficiencies or certain thyroid health issues.
The causes of dementia can be different and if the cause cannot be treated it can be progressive. Depression, difficulty in remembering simple things, apathy, can be some of the symptoms which over the time can be worsened.
Causes of dementia
Dementia is mainly caused by damage of the cells of the brain. Or let’s say it simple, that is the inability of the brain cells to communicate with each other and therefore this miscommunication affects the normal thinking, behaviors and feeling. As the brain is consisted of several distinct regions and each of the regions has its function, and if one of the regions is affected by the cell damage it stops functioning in a regular way.
Risk factors for dementia which can be controlled are as follows:
- Poor diet;
- Vitamin deficiencies;
- Side effects of certain medication;
- Thyroid dysfunction;
- Cardiovascular risks (high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes);
- Head injuries;
- Excess alcohol use;
- Low physical activity.
9 Ways To Help Reduce The Risk Of Dementia
- Vitamin D
Cognitive decline is proved by several studies that it is closely related to low levels of Vitamin D and this leads to symptoms of dementia. The best way to protect and to prevent your body against dementia is to start taking Vitamin D on daily basis and to include it as a supplement to your diet, besides absorbing it through the sun.
- Brain challenges
You can benefit from challenging your brain every day! Bilingualism is confirmed to delay the onset of the symptoms of dementia. Crosswords, puzzles and other memory games or challenges can improve your brain function and can prevent the onset of the memory decline.
- Physical activity
One of the most effective ways to strengthen your cardiovascular system is by being physically active. By being physically active you improve the blood circulation and your heart will pump regularly. Exercising is the best prevention for many chronic health diseases. Only 30 minutes of moderate cardio activity, like walking, running, is enough for you to feel the benefits.
- Avoid alcohol intake
The highest risks of developing dementia have people who consume excessive quantities of alcohol in comparison to people who consume no alcohol or consume it in moderate quantities. Many health issues, including dementia, can be prevented by control of alcohol intake.
- Be careful, and avoid head injuries
If you are cycling, or skating wear a helmet! This way you can protect your head and your brain against injuries. However, if you are participating in hiking, skiing or water sports, consider some way of protection of your head.
- Be social
Interact with others and protect yourself against negative effects of isolation and alienation from people around you. Talking, or chatting with your friends or family members regularly can prevent various mental health conditions. Or, you can simply combine the physical activities, like walking in nature, and have a nice conversation.
- Vitamin B
Vitamin B intake prevents the body from cognitive decline. Vitamins B lower the levels of molecule called homocysteine or HC which is known to damage the cardiovascular system. High levels of HC increase the risk of stroke, vascular issues, or heart disease.
- Stop smoking
Studies prove that smokers are at 45% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease if compared to non-smokers, or even former smokers. Smoking damages almost every part of your body, the brain, too. So, stop smoking as soon as you can.
- Track your numbers
As cardiovascular and metabolic health are the most significant dementia predictors, keeping track of the blood pressure, weight and cholesterol can be of great help in finding out the problem during early stages.
Other included sources linked in David Wolfe’s article: