Adjusting Your Lifestyle Can Drop Your Risk of Dementia

Forgetting significant dates lately? Asking the same question repeatedly? These days, we can overcome these “forgetfulness” in our daily lives with electronic devices that help us organize our daily activities and beeps us notices of important events and things to do. However, over-reliance on these gadgets for reminders is not a positive sign. That's because not remembering information that you have just learned is the most common warning sign of early dementia!1

What is dementia? Dementia is not a disease but a combination of “symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities, severely enough to interfere with daily functioning”.2

Do you know that, the way you live your day-to-day life can drop your risks of developing dementia? Except for Alzheimer’s, genetically linked diseases and old age, you can influence the other contributing factors to dementia. You can do something on excessive drinking of alcohol, high bad cholesterol level, high or low blood pressure, fat deposits on your artery (atherosclerosis), smoking, excessive weight, poor mental health (depression), diabetes, replacement hormone intake years beyond menopause, and a high blood level of a type of amino acid (a component of protein) called homocysteine.2

Researchers point out that although there are no real cure to treat dementia, people can act on their unhealthy diet and inactive lifestyle to ward off the decline in their brain functions.3 One can also address the lack of nutrients such as insufficient vitamins B-6 and B-12 from daily diet and thiamin (vitamin B-1) insufficiency that is found in habitual alcohol drinking that can led to symptoms dementia-like symptoms.2

It’s no wonder why researchers extol the benefits of healthy living. It protects the brain, the command centre of our body.

References

  1. Alzheimer's Association. Alzheimer's disease: know the 10 signs. Published 2009. Downloaded from http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_know_the_10_signs.asp. Accessed 21April2015.
  2. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Dementia. Published 22November2014. Downloaded from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dementia/basics/definition/con-20034399?p=1. Accessed 21April2015.
  3. Lövdén M, Xu W, Wangy, HX. Lifestyle change and the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia: what Is the evidence? Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2013;26(3):239-243.
  4. NHS Choices. Can dementia be prevented? Page last reviewed: 16/10/201. Downloaded from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia-guide/pages/dementia-prevention.aspx. Accessed 21April2015.

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