Dementia is a mental condition where the patient experiences serious decline in mental abilities. The Alzheimer’s disease most commonly results from dementia, manifested by cognitive issues, memory loss, mood or behavioral changes, and so on.
According to experts dementia is often caused by depression, chronic infections, head trauma, vascular problems, medications, thyroid malfunction, vitamin shortages, and Parkinson’s disease.
Dementia needs to be treated on time as if this does not happen the brain cells will “die” making the symptoms even worse than before. It is good to know that most of the symptoms are treatable and reversible.
This condition is commonly associated to genetics, but there are other factors which can contribute to the appearance of this disease such as environmental, psychological, and lifestyle factors.
Let us specify the risk factors of dementia:
- Cardiovascular issues (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol)
- Head injuries
- Poor physical activity
- Thyroid malfunction
- Lack of vitamins and malnutrition
Fortunately, dementia can be prevented, and there are ways how to do it.
Ways to Prevent Dementia
- Anticholinergic medications
Anticholinergic drugs impede the function of the parasympathetic nerve impulses. The automatic nervous system is consisted of two parts, and one of them is the parasympathetic nerve which regulates the body function during resting time.
These are vital nerves as they regulate the involuntary muscle movements in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, and in every other system within the body.
The anticholinergic effect results from the use of antidepressants, sleeping pills, allergy drugs, and heart medication. You have to be aware that there is a strong link between anticholinergic use and dementia. Therefore, seek an advice from your physician, and turn to a healthier alternative if you are dealing with some of these issues.
- Regulate your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight
In order to lower the risk of a heart disease, stroke and dementia you need to take good care of your metabolic or cardiovascular health. According to newly conducted studies Type 2 diabetes elevates the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Vitamin B complex
B vitamins take a crucial part in most cellular processes. Vitamin B6, B12, and folate regulate homocysteine which is a kind of molecule that influences the vascular system.
If the body has high homocysteine levels, then the risk of stroke, heart disease, and vascular issues is raised. These ailments will lead to age-related cognitive decline, therefore increase the intake of vitamins B complex, and particularly 500mg of vitamin B12.
- Fish oil
The older generation is very much affected by low DHA- docosahexaenoic acid levels because this acid affects memory and cognitive skills. There are products which are loaded with docosahexaenoic acid like the fish oil thus preventing the occurrence of dementia. It is recommended to take about 1000mg each day.
- Vitamin D
There is a strong link between vitamin D shortage and cognitive decline already confirmed by many scientists. During studies laboratory animals, which were susceptible to developing Alzheimer’s and dementia, were given vitamin D supplements. It was concluded that Vitamin D prevents the onset of dementia. Therefore, get this vitamin through sun exposure or just simple take high-quality supplements.
- Brain challenge
In order for the brain to serve you during your whole lifetime it needs to be challenged. So, try solving word puzzles, crosswords, or even learn a new language, in that way you are training your brain.
According to researchers, persons who speak more than one language are less likely to develop dementia.
- Social life
Social life is the essence of quality life and as well as for your brain. Communication with other people and friends prevents dementia; therefore nourish your social life.
- Quit cigarettes and excessive use of alcohol
Cigarettes and alcohol have a negative effect on the overall body and health. In fact, smokers are at higher risk of developing dementia according to recent studies. However, alcohol can sometimes save your life, according to studies moderate consumption of red wine can provide you with a healthy antioxidant kick.
- Protect the brain/head
If you are a fan of cycling, then always use the right equipment to protect your head. This advice also applies for hikers.
- Enhance your physical activity
The heart needs physical activity for optimal function. Exercising offers great positive effect on your cardiovascular health. You can try running, walking, biking or gardening.