How to Prevent Dementia (Naturally & Science-Based)

We look at what dementia is and what the different types of dementia mean. We then look at natural and science-based prevention methods which can lower the risk of developing dementia.

Dementia is a basic loss of cognitive functions and is linked with memory impairment and loss. It affects the daily life of those who develop it and can mean they will eventually become entirely dependent on a loved one. This is because dementia progresses with time and the chances of developing the condition increase as you age.

However, there are prevention methods that are natural and science-based, that can lower the risk of development, increase mental alertness and improve overall health. We take a look at these methods in this article, along with what the different types of dementia are and how it is diagnosed and treated.

What is Dementia?

Dementia includes a wide range of neuropsychiatric and medical conditions that are characterized by cognitive deficits. These deficits usually interfere with daily life. In 2015, it was estimated that a total of 47 million people were living with dementia globally.

Dementia can be a fear for many as they age. It can destroy precious memories and there is the general fear you will have to become entirely dependent on loved ones you may not even be able to recognize anymore.

The National Institute on Aging defines dementia as a loss of cognitive functioning and it is one of the most common conditions associated with cognitive decline and memory loss. It is a loss of mental skills that can affect daily life and can cause problems with working memory, thinking skills, and how you plan and process information.

How to Prevent Dementia (Naturally & Science-Based)

It affects the functioning of day-to-day activities and influences how one can make choices, remember details, communicate, solve problems, pay attention, concentrate on tasks, control emotions, recognize common objects and people, and complete simple steps of daily activity.

Dementia often progresses and gets worse over time but how long it takes to progress depends on the person and individual circumstances. Some people find their symptoms stay the same for years whereas some others get worse and lose basic skills quickly. Although your chances of developing dementia increase as you get older, it is not inevitable and this does not mean everyone will get it.

Although certain risk factors like age and genetics can’t be changed, there are constantly new methods of research being produced that promise to reduce the risk of dementia and can be the key to leading a healthy life, whilst still enjoying daily activities.

Some patients only experience a mild form of dementia where they only lose a few vital functions. However, more serious cases involve 24/7 caregiving and it might even affect their whole personality. A calm person, for example, might become agitated and angry.

Dementia is caused by the slowing down of neurons in the brain. When these slow down, they lose connections with other brain cells and often end up dying. Every message which enters the brain travels through neurons.

It’s normal to lose neurons with aging but people with dementia often end up losing enough that it causes the system to break down and affect daily life.

Dementia is usually diagnosed by either imaging tests, mental status exams, lab tests, or medical history and after death, an autopsy might be done to find out the cause of that person’s dementia. This is usually helpful for families worried about genetic causes.

When it comes to treatment, medicine might help slow the condition but it won’t cure it. Palliative care is usually carried out to improve the quality of life for the patient and keep them as independent as possible. Ongoing treatment for dementia aims to keep the person safe, provide support, and monitor medicines and the person’s level of basic functioning.

Different Types of Dementia

Dementia comes in many different types. These include:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease: This is the most common form of dementia and is an irreversible and progressive disorder that damages brain cells and leads to reduced cognitive abilities and memory loss.
  • Parkinson’s Disease: This is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects basic movement. It is a chronic disease and is caused by the destruction of nerve cells found in the brain.
  • Huntington’s Disease: This is a progressive disorder that causes the brain to lose nerve cells. It affects mood, movement, and basic cognitve skills.
  • Vascular Dementia: This is a decline in cognitive skills and can affect basic thinking skills. It is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.
  • Lewy Body Dementia: This is a brain disorder that results in cognitive decline and irreversible movement problems.
  • Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: This is caused by a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain. It leads to cognitive impairment.
  • Frontotemporal Dementia: This is a degenerative type of dementia and affects the frontal lobe of the brain.
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome: Alcohol is linked to the development of this dementia and can result from thiamine deficiency. It is a two-stage brain disorder in which Karsakaff syndrome develops as a result of brain damage.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob DIsease: This is characterized by the spread of proteins that are incorrectly folded and degenerate brain capacity, which ultimately leads to death.
  • Mixed Dementia: This is known as ‘Dementia-multifactoral’ and is characterized by symptoms and abnormalities of more than one type of dementia.

How to Prevent Dementia (Naturally & Science-Based)

Healthy Eating

Though there is no scientifically proven way to prevent dementia entirely, there are several natural and science-based methods to decrease your risk of developing the condition.

A healthy lifestyle is one of these and can boost overall brain health whilst improving cognitive function. A healthy lifestyle can also lower the risk of heart disease and stroke and therefore prevent future declines.

These prevention methods include:

Exercise

Regular physical activity can decrease the risk of developing dementia. Regular aerobic exercise can slow atrophy in the hippocampus and this is the part of the brain which controls memory.

Regular exercise can also control weight, blood circulation, heart health, mood, and mental health and this can affect the risk of you developing dementia.

If you are new to physical activity, start small and slowly introduce it into your daily routine. This could be as small as walking up and down your street and working your way up to playing a game of tennis with your friends.

Eventually, try to fit at least 150 minutes of exercise into every week and it’s always important to remember to have fun with it!

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep can help clear your brain and keep you on top of your game. Whilst you are sleeping, your brain can clear amyloid-beta protein and this contributes to the plaque which is found in the brains of people with dementia. Without enough sleep, your brain might suffer from toxic buildup.

It is, therefore, best to aim for at least 7 hours of sleep at night to lower your risk of developing dementia.

Keep Your Mind Active

An active mind will help keep you mentally alert and it has been proven to lower the risk of dementia. This does not always mean a formal education and can include activities such as studying a new language, completing puzzles or playing board games, learning to read music and play an instrument, reading a book, volunteering, or staying socially engaged with friends and family.

Staying socially engaged can not only lower the risk of dementia but can also help with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, which are often linked to loneliness.

Neuroplasticity is when the brain can continue to grow and change and a flexible brain that can continue to do this, means you are less likely to suffer from dementia as the brain can continue to create new connections.

Eat Well

Eating foods that contain the right nutrients for your brain can help protect itself and a diet that is high in fat and added sugar can increase the risk of dementia due to inflammation in the brain. Increased sugar levels can also lead to diabetes which is another risk factor for diabetes.

You could try following a new well-balanced diet or even the Mediterranean diet. A well-balanced diet consists of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lentils and beans, eggs, milk, lean meat, and fish. It’s a good idea to avoid saturated fats, sugars, salt, and animal fats.

Avoid Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption

A link between smoking and dementia has been found by The Alzheimer’s Association, as smoking can cause damage to your heart and blood vessels. Cigarette smoke can also cause swelling in your brain which is also linked to dementia.

Smoking can affect blood circulation around your body and if you’re 65 or over, it can increase the risk of dementia further.

Excessive alcohol consumption might also be a risk for dementia and it is suggested you only drink up to one alcoholic beverage a day if you are a woman and two if you are a man. One study found that people who drink over 5 bottles of beer in one sitting were 3 times more likely to develop dementia by the age of 65.

Manage Other Health Conditions

As a healthy heart equals a healthy brain, it has been discovered that 80% of people living with Alzheimer’s disease also have heart disease. It’s possible the decline in the brain is paired with poor heart health and so to control this, it’s vital to control high blood pressure.

Other health conditions which can increase the risk of dementia include diabetes and high cholesterol and so it is a good idea to monitor these and ensure you are receiving proper treatment.

Supplement Use

Using the right supplements is critical in preventing dementia.

Mind Lab Pro® Universal Nootropic™

Mind Lab Pro v4.0 is a nootropic formula that has been designed to improve focus and concentration, enhance memory and work on keeping your brain healthy. This is why it is highly recommended as a way of keeping that mental alertness up and helping prevent cognitive decline and dementia.

Even after the onset of memory loss, Mind Lab Pro promises to get you back on your feet and turn you back to your most creative and confident self, as well as your sharpest and productive self.

It is safe, scientifically proven to work, and has passed numerous placebo-controlled trials. Take 2-4 capsules a day with a drink of your choice and feel the effects in around 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a supplement to not only help enhance memory but also improve mental agility, look no further.

Conclusion

Dementia is a group of symptoms that primarily affect memory, along with many other basic cognitive functions. Although there is a range of different types of dementia, the most common type is Alzheimer’s disease and this is closely followed by vascular dementia.

Although dementia cannot be prevented entirely due to its link with genetics and aging, certain lifestyle changes can help lower the risk of development. Trying these natural and science-based prevention methods in this article can lower the risk of developing dementia and keep your mind active as you age.

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