There are many different types of dementia. Everyone knows someone with Alzheimer’s dementia. Or someone that is caring for an individual with dementia. Some individuals carry the gene for Alzheimer’s disease. This does not mean that you will develop the disease. It means you have the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no sure way to prevent dementia, but there are lifestyle choices you can make that might help. Dementia prevention is a lifestyle choice.
There is a process of physical and mental signs and symptoms that develop. This occurs as part of the dementia process. Most people are aware that memory problems occur with dementia.
Dementia is a condition characterized by memory loss, thinking and reasoning difficulties, and an inability to independently carry out daily activities. It is important to note that there are different types of dementia, with Alzheimer's disease being the most common. However, vascular disease is also a major cause of dementia, even in some cases of Alzheimer's. The good news is that there are ways to lower the risk of dementia.
Understanding the Risk Factors Based on the Cause
Alzheimer's disease is associated with the presence of sticky protein deposits on the brain's surface. On the other hand, vascular dementia is caused by the buildup of plaque and narrowing of the arteries, which restricts blood flow to the brain. It is now known that many people have a combination of both types of dementia, which makes it important to consider treatments and preventive measures for both.
The Significance of Vascular Health
While researchers are still working to understand the causes and treatment of Alzheimer's disease, the impact of vascular disease on dementia cannot be ignored. Vascular disease can contribute to the development or progression of dementia. Diseased blood vessels and high blood pressure can lead to small areas of bleeding or reduced blood flow to the brain, known as "silent strokes," which may not cause noticeable symptoms. However, repeated occurrences of these small brain injuries can result in memory problems, difficulties with gait and balance, and other cognitive issues. The role of vascular disease in the development of Alzheimer's dementia is still being studied, and the mechanisms behind this connection are not yet fully understood.
Taking Steps Towards Better Vascular Health
Improving the health of your blood vessels involves making lifestyle changes. It is important to note that brain changes associated with dementia can start years or even decades before symptoms appear. Therefore, the earlier you prioritize your vascular health, the better it will be for your brain. Additionally, enhancing blood vessel health can also help reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other serious diseases.
It is estimated that one in three cases of dementia is preventable. While it may not be possible to stop or reverse the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease, there are steps you can take to address hypertension and reduce the risk factors associated with vascular disease.
No one discusses how dementia affects:
• An individual’s balance and walking
• Ability to swallow
• Or control ones bowel and bladder
• Ability to speak
• Or be understood.
It generally starts out as a memory problem. Because it happens in the brain, and our brain controls every single function in our life, it gets much worse.
As the disease progresses, challenging behaviors will occur. Some negative behaviors can be very challenging.
A solution... to many behaviors is... finding suitable activities that promote a sense of positive well-being and success. You are probably asking what does this have to do with dementia prevention.
A healthy body supports a healthy brain. Lifestyle choices should include diet and exercise. It should also include trying to do something new and different every day.
More on dementia prevention strategies...
Discover Essential Steps for Dementia Prevention
While forgetfulness and cognitive issues are often associated with individuals aged 60 and above, recent medical studies are revealing that changes in the brain related to this condition actually start years before.
In a comprehensive study conducted in 2017 and published in JAMA Neurology, researchers analyzed data from 15,744 participants nationwide to explore the correlation between smoking, diabetes, elevated blood pressure, and the likelihood of developing dementia over a span of 25 years.
Interestingly, individuals with high blood pressure during middle age increased their risk of dementia by 40% over the next 25 years. As for diabetes, the risk escalated by 80%. Astonishingly, this increase in risk is nearly equivalent to having a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer's.
By making healthy choices and implementing lifestyle modifications in your 40s, you might be able to mitigate the risk of dementia. Consult with your physician to learn effective strategies in preventing plaque buildup and arterial narrowing:
Maintain optimal blood pressure levels.
Manage diabetes effectively.
Achieve and sustain a healthy weight.
Incorporate more physical activity into your routine.
Take action today to enhance your vascular health and potentially prevent the onset of dementia.
Preparing to develop dementia would include:
Working on your balance, so if you were to develop a type of dementia, you may be able to maintain your balance longer.
Incorporating tai chi or yoga is very beneficial. Tai Chi helps with balance, through gentle stretching and movements. It also helps balance to decrease stress. Tai chi is low impact and is great for older adults who may not otherwise be able to exercise.
It is an inexpensive activity that requires no special equipment and can be done indoors or out.
Yoga is a non-aerobic activity and it is not without its risks. But if done carefully, it is not supposed to hurt. It is an activity that involves stretching and movements. It also concentrates on breathing. This promotes balance and decrease stress.
Taking up hobbies that you can do with your hands is another positive lifestyle choice. You will benefit using your mind as well as your hands.
As the disease progresses, your long-term memory will help you to be occupied. As you lose different abilities and functions over time.
Incorporate activities such as... knitting, origami, painting, chiseling, sculpting will not only keep your hands busy... but use your mind as well.
These activities will be important for you, if you do develop dementia. The person caring for you can help slow the progression of the disease. They can do this by involving you in activities that are of interest to you. Thus, decreasing stress and negative behaviors that may arise out of boredom.
Of course, the goal here is actually dementia prevention. Incorporating lifestyle changes is a win-win for you. As you learn something new and different, it helps you live longer. Without developing dementia. If you should develop it, it will help you live a better quality of life for you and your eventual caregiver.
Dementia, a condition that impacts memory and cognitive functions, is a serious concern. The leading cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, closely followed by vascular dementia.
While certain types of dementia are beyond our control, making lifestyle choices can significantly reduce the risk. Engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and staying mentally active can all contribute to lowering the chances of developing dementia. So, taking proactive steps towards a healthier lifestyle is key in safeguarding your cognitive well-being.
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