How to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Loss of memory, difficulties with logic, and an inability to carry out daily tasks independently are all characteristics of dementia. This disease comes in several forms. Alzheimer’s is the most common. However, vascular disease is a primary cause for one-third of patients with dementia, including some people with Alzheimer’s. In this post, we will talk more about how to prevent dementia and how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

What Is Dementia?

Dementia is not a single disease; it is a general term involving many distinct medical disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. Abnormal brain changes cause disorders classified as “dementia.” These alterations cause a loss in thinking capabilities, also known as cognitive capacities, severe enough to interfere with daily life and independent function. They also have an impact on behaviour, emotions, and relationships.

What Are the Main Types of Dementia?

Dementia, as we said, covers a range of diseases, but we can say that the following are the most common types everyone should get to know more about:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
  • Lewy body dementia (LBD)
  • Vascular dementia
  • Mixed dementia (a combination of the above)

The Relationship Between Vascular Health and Dementia

Vascular diseases can cause or aggravate dementia. Diseased blood arteries, combined with high blood pressure, can result in microscopic pockets of bleeding or stopped blood flow to the brain, leading to “silent strokes” that may not even present noticeable symptoms.

However, if these minor areas of brain injury occur repeatedly, a person can have problems with memory, walking, balance, and other brain functions.

Researchers are investigating the involvement of vascular illness in the development of vascular dementia, in particular. However, it is still unclear. To prevent dementia or slow the onset, the sooner you start caring for your vascular health, the better your brain’s health condition.

Read more: How Good Cholesterol May Help Lower Your Alzheimer’s Risk.

How to Prevent Dementia: Bad and Good News

There is still no certain and scientifically proven way to prevent dementia. However, research has discovered several risk factors contributing to this disease. We have no power over modifying many of these risk factors, such as genetics or age, but there are also many that we can influence, such as our lifestyle or the treatments we receive.

What Are the Risk Factors for Dementia?

We can make a difference in the following risk factors: 

  • Depression that goes untreated
  • Social isolation or loneliness
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Smoking
  • Obesity and high blood pressure
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol

What Can We Do to Reduce the Risks or Delay the Onset of Dementia?

While there are a lot of factors we can’t control, there are certain changes we can make in our life to delay and prevent dementia:

Following a Healthy Diet

healthy foods to help prevent dementia

Fill half of your meal with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole grains, and a quarter with protein-rich foods like meat, fish, and tofu. Salt and sugar limitation helps in the prevention of chronic diseases like high blood pressure. In case you are wondering, here are the best diets to prevent dementia:

The Most Effective Diets Against Dementia and Supplements to Prevent Dementia

According to research, some supplements may help prevent dementia or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, including Antioxidant vitamins: ß‐carotene, vitamin C or vitamin E, Zinc and copper supplementation, and Selenium. Healthy eating patterns can also be effective in preventing cognitive decline. Below are the most famous diets:

Mediterranean Diet: According to research, a Mediterranean diet can boost cognitive function. This diet has plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, olive oil, fish, tiny amounts of dairy, eggs, red meat, and red wine in moderation.

Studies have found that following a Mediterranean diet leads to better cognitive functioning and a slower change from mild cognitive impairment to dementia.

MIND’s Diet: The MIND diet is an alternative to the Mediterranean diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay). The diet is comparable to the Mediterranean diet, except it emphasizes green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, seafood, chicken, olive oil, and wine.

read more: Mediterranean diet prevents dementia.

This diet plan highlights the significance of foods and nutrients linked to dementia prevention.

Supplements to Prevent Alzheimer’s

Prevent Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s has no cure yet, and there’s no known way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease for good. However, a healthy lifestyle, including healthy eating patterns, can serve your body and brain. Studies have shown that some supplements significantly prevent and slow disease progression. These supplements include phosphatidylserine, alpha lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, Ginkgo Biloba and Omega-3 fatty acids. Read this article Supplements to Prevent Alzheimer’s.

Before changing your diet or taking new supplements, consult your healthcare provider.

Physical Activity

Being healthy and spending quality time with family and friends can boost your well-being. One strategy to lower your chances of dementia is to keep your mind and body busy.

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. Choose appropriate activities for your age and physical condition, and start at a comfortable level.

Brain Exercises and Games to Prevent Alzheimer’s

You might not expect some activities to improve your mental health and cognitive function, but these little acts can present you with a healthier state of mind:

  • Read More: Reading is an excellent method to stimulate your brain. Reap the benefits of the library’s book and magazine borrowing service. 
  • Play More Games: Many games help boost your brain performance. Keep your mind occupied by playing cards, Dice games, board games, or Sudoku in your leisure time.
  • Learn Something New:  It’s a good idea to start playing a musical instrument if you haven’t before. You can even try learning a new skill like dancing or learning a new language on the weekends. It’s also possible to join several interest groups that share the same learning journeys as you. 
  • Take Chances: Are you fed up with preparing the same meals over and over? Try a new dish and share your cooking secrets with your buddies. It’s also fun to go to newly opened food courts and restaurants with family and friends.
  • Take Part in Social Activities: Build new relationships. It is never too late to make new friends. Smile and say “Hello” to folks you meet in the neighbourhood. On weekends, attend tai chi classes or spend quality time with your grandchildren and teach them things you enjoy. You can spend an afternoon painting and cooking or simply having a cup of tea and talking with friends.

Taking Charge of Your Well-Being

Take care of your health by managing chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. A healthy and robust heart ensures proper blood flow to your brain. It keeps the brain fueled and healthy.

  • Keep your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels under control. If you are taking medication, be sure to follow the instructions and seek medical attention as soon as possible to avoid future issues.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Keeping a healthy weight is vital for controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Stop smoking. You’re at a greater risk of getting heart disease and dementia if you smoke.

Games to Prevent Alzheimer’s

senior couple playing dice game

Brain exercises and games can improve cognitive functions by increasing grey matter in the brain. Some brain-stimulating games that may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease are as below:

  • 3D video games
  • Board games
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Card Games
  • Virtual reality games

Read more: Games to Prevent Alzheimer’s

Final Words

Dementia disease is complex and has no cure, and the optimal approach for preventing or delaying it may be a mix of measures. As mentioned, there are many things you can do to keep your brain and body healthy.

Because types of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease are so debilitating, some people get tempted by “cures” that have never been tested or proven. Consult your doctor before taking any drugs, treatments, or supplements that claim to prevent dementia. These “treatments” could be dangerous, a waste of money, or both. Even if they are not, they could cause problems with other medical procedures.

Source alzheimers.gov medicalnewstoday.com hopkinsmedicine.org
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