Dementia has been a cause of concern for centuries. More than a good 50 million of the total population suffers with dementia, increasing with age. However, it is great to know that dementia and cognitive decline are preventable. With this in mind, let’s now look at what dementia really is.
Dementia is a condition an individual can be exposed to a bundle of unfavorable symptoms as impaired thinking, memory, and ability to function. Despite its connection with Alzheimer, Parkinson’s or cardiovascular diseases can also follow the illness. According to recent medical findings, patients prone to dementia included conditions as untreated depression, untreated hearing loss, hypertension, and obesity. Therefore, improving the above lifestyle factors can contribute to reducing, if not eliminating, causes that might lead to dementia. Hence, why not adapt to new strategies that could bring about an actual change, permitting a life free from the ravages of dementia?
Although some of us may have already gone through physiological changes that are backed up by dementia, there’s still a pretty good chance of surviving while staying away from the disease. The possibility of destroying the ability to remember, communicate, and make sense of things can heavily depend on one’s brainpower. Therefore, empowering your brain right away is necessary to keep away from the killer disease.
Check out these five ways to keep dementia at bay by taking preventive measures.
Genes are Nothing to Worry About
The burning question is if genes can cause dementia inevitable for some. Rarely are people who are diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s backed up by their genes. However, it’s a very rare form. APOE-4 is the common gene that contributes to the risk of Alzheimer’s in people older than 65. Surprisingly, but to the point, not everyone who has this gene suffers from the disease, and not everyone who gets it has the APOE-4 gene. Hence, over worrying about genes should be stopped. Genes don’t count for most of their contribution to dementia.
Keeping the Brain Active and Healthy
Aron Buchman, a Neurology professor, said, “Higher levels of cognitive activity are associated with better cognition.” Hence, the brain to be kept healthy requires a regular attempt to read, write, seek and learn recent information as languages or anything that relates to intellectual pursuits. According to research, participants who were engaged in such activities during later years of life had more brainpower and less mental decline.
Upon brain autopsies by participants who donated their brains at death, it answered another important question; “can the physiological changes an individual adapts to, help one escape from dementia?” The brain autopsies showed a result that can be expected from people aged 80 and beyond, including abnormalities in the brain. However, these abnormalities had not contributed to the impairment of the brain functions simply because these brains were intellectually active throughout.
This means individuals who have more intellectual has a brain ‘reserve’ with an abundance of the cognitive reserve to support during times of aging. Regardless of brand abnormalities, some researches have shown that even the aged population who died between the age range 79-99 showed to have new neurons. This is because of the regular cognitive function they had. Hence, keeping the brain active and healthy despite how aged one may contribute heavily to the benefit of brainpower, making them less prone to illnesses as dementia.
Feeding Your Brain
Now we all know eating healthy keeps our brains healthy. But what can do wonders to our brains is what we choose to put in our mouths. A Mediterranean diet can, however, do wonders to one’s body and brain. Adhering to this diet strictly for quite some time can give you favorable and desirable results. A Mediterranean diet includes more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and fish, while skipping meats and sweets. According to research, following this diet has a heavy effect as a good 40% reduction in the chances of suffering from dementia.
To treat dementia efficiently, researchers have contributed to coming up with a MIND diet. This MIND diet has a possibility of directly connecting with the brain by providing it with what it requires in abundance. Hence, this diet targets one’s brain health. This amazing diet plan combines Mediterranean and DASH, which prohibits the consumption of some parts of dairy as butter and cheese, as well as red meats and fried fast foods. Surprisingly, this MIND diet plan has shown advancement in medical history by reducing the cognitive decline by a good 50%. Therefore, it should be in your best interest to feed your body and mind with an extremely healthy plant.
The key to reducing dementia is within one’s reach and control. Understanding and adapting to the best dietary pattern will do wonders in the long term. Shaping up your brain into a healthier brain relies heavily on healthful eating habits. Additionally, the elderly who followed a diet rich in healthy and balanced foods seemed to have larger and healthier brains. Plant-based foods hence contribute to preventing dementia.
The combination of the Mediterranean diet with regular exercises shows a prominent change in levels of dementia. This means that people who followed a healthy diet plan along with daily exercises had a 67% less chance of contracting dementia.
According to Professor Buchman, a new wrist device was used to measure the physical activity of selected participants. This device measured all activities an individual wearing it engaged in as sweeping, cycling, or gardening. The research showed that people who were more engaged in physical activities had fewer chances of contracting dementia. Hence, this individual had an extremely slower rate of cognitive decline compared to the rest.
Upon their donation of brains over their death, it was confirmed that those who remained intellectually and physically active could offset the cognitive decline. Thus, engaging in higher activities will offer better cognition despite any brain abnormalities. Remember, activity at any age plays a vital role.
Maintaining a Healthy Heart
The connection between dementia and the heart is highly underrated, as it is of utmost importance. What suits best to your heart suits best your brain well. Hence, promoting your overall brain health by treating your heart right should be given value. This means consuming a diet that’s rich in heart-healthy foods, and engaging in physical activities that promote your heart health.
Just the same, maintaining conditions as diabetes, obesity, cholesterol and high blood pressure can be beneficial. This is because these health conditions have a link with dementia that might affect cognition and overall brain health.
In conclusion, this article suggests simple measures that can keep dementia away while leading a healthy life at any age. You have the power within you to control, take action, and put dementia down once and for all. Thus, leading a dementia-free life for as long as you live is no more a challenge.
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