Dementia is a general term used to describe a decline in cognitive function that interferes with daily life activities. It is caused by damage occurring to brain cells, which can be a result of a variety of factors.
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which is characterized by the build-up of abnormal proteins in the brain that cause brain cells to die. Other causes of dementia include vascular dementia, which is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain due to stroke or other conditions that affect blood vessels in the brain, and Lewy body dementia, which is caused by the buildup of abnormal proteins in brain cells.
So how can we have a chance to stay away from developing some form of dementia? It might even be easier than you think, and a new study that The Guardian tells us about sheds light.
Seven ways to stay safe from dementia
A two-decade-long study has found that adopting seven healthy habits and lifestyle factors may help reduce the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, later in life. These habits include:
- Being physically active
- Applying for healthy diets
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Not smoking
- Controlling blood pressure
- Blood sugar levels in middle age
The study followed thousands of US women, and the preliminary findings are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology from Boston.
Pamela Rist, who’s a member of the American Academy of Neurology, explained as The Guardian quotes:
Since we now know that dementia can begin in the brain decades before diagnosis, it’s important that we learn more about how your habits in middle age can affect your risk of dementia in old age,
The good news is that making healthy lifestyle choices in middle age may lead to a decreased risk of dementia later in life.
Some of the most common symptoms of dementia are memory loss, difficulty with language and communication, problem-solving and decision-making difficulties, coordination and motor function difficulties, confusion and disorientation, changes in mood and behavior, and withdrawal from social activities and hobbies. The severity and type of symptoms can vary depending on the individual and type of dementia. If someone experiences any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.