There is a myriad of medical conditions that go with old age, and dementia is probably one of the scariest of them all.
It is terrifying that for people age 60 and above, one in six seniors have dementia. With impaired cognitive functions, spatial awareness, language and memory loss can be problems associated with it.
There are many treatments available out there, but often times these have little effects on the individual as it is too late once your brain has been severely altered already.
With a condition terrifying such as this, the only thing we can do is prevent the onset of this ailment as early as possible. In particular are people suffering from type-2 diabetes more at risk?
Recent research was conducted on 2 million individuals’ GP records checking their body mass index (BMI) from middle age to old age. Findings say that those diagnosed with dementia actually have low body mass index. These findings only tell us that there is a contradiction on the hypothesis that the likelihood of getting dementia increases when an individual is obese.
However Deborah Gustafson, an epidemiologist in State University New York says that the design used on the study mentioned above was flawed because the time frame as to when the BMI was recorded was inconsistent and did not coincide with the dates on when these subjects got diagnosed with dementia.
According to Gustafson, BMI and dementia have a complicated relationship. Aside from our genes being a factor of this condition, a higher BMI during the ages 30 to 60 increases the risk of developing dementia later on. To put this in a clearer perspective, it is healthier to be neither obese nor underweight.
The director of Research and Development at the Alzheimer’s Society says that there is evidence-based strategies in delaying the onset or preventing dementia. According to Dr. Doug Brown, looking after your heart health, diet, and exercise are the three secrets in preventing this condition from occurring. A study following 3000 individuals in the course of 35 years showed that regular exercise or even taking as little as a 30-minute walk can already help reduce the risk.
15 to 20 years before you will see clinical symptoms, dementia may already have started to take over. Early intervention is a good way for preventing this condition. It has been determineed that unhealthy lifestyle choices can cause the early onset and therefore, pre-diabetic conditions, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can be the signs that you need to take action early on to avoid getting it later. A healthy diet and regular exercise routine has been found to improve cognitive functions among midlife adults.
Try to stay on top of your vascular condition as well. This will not only help you keep a healthier body, it also delays other age-related conditions that you might need to face if you did not take care of your health. According to Gustafson, educating yourself about how to take blood pressure will help you to stay cognizant in preventing high cholesterol levels and diabetes. Smoking also increases the risk of dementia, and according to scientific studies, smokers have a 45% higher risk. The more you smoke, the higher this percentage increases.
Educating yourself as early as possible is one of the keys in preventing dementia too. Aside from the knowledge you get about how to prevent and manage this disease, you also activate your cognitive abilities as you learn new information.
Educating and learning new things is the exercise your brain needs to stay alert. The more you keep it active, the more it prevents dementia. Exercising your body is also important to keep your cholesterol, blood pressure and weight at normal levels. You should also be strict with your diet.
A diet high in cereals, vegetables, fruit and fish may lower the risk of dementia and other vascular diseases. Eating foods rich in vitamins B6, B12, A, C, E, omega-3 and folic acid is a must. But eating a plate of fish drizzled in olive oil and tomatoes is healthier than drinking a bucket of vitamins.