It is no secret that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise. In the United States alone, it is estimated that over 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease – a number that is expected to more than triple by the year 2050.
Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability due to disease or injury. In relation, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. The cause of most cases of dementia is unknown. However, some known risk factors include age, family history, and certain medical conditions. Symptoms of dementia can vary depending on the underlying cause. However, common symptoms include memory loss, difficulty communicating, difficulty with complex tasks, and changes in mood or behavior.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to combating this epidemic, there are certain things that can be done to help reduce your risk of developing these conditions.
Here are 5 ways to combat the epidemic of dementia and Alzheimer’s:
Get regular exercise.
Exercise has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to combat cognitive decline and dementia. Not only does it help improve blood flow to the brain, but it also helps to reduce inflammation and improve brain function.
Eat a healthy diet.
One of the most promising is the Mediterranean diet. This diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil. It has been shown to help improve cognitive function and to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Another healthy diet that can help combat dementia and Alzheimer’s is the DASH diet. The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts.
Stay socially active.
Social interaction has been linked with a lower risk of developing dementia. Make sure to stay connected with friends and family members, and participate in activities that you enjoy. You can also get a pet. Pets are great companions and can help you stay socially active. Dogs need to be walked, which gets you out of the house and talking to people. Cats need attention and love, which can provide some much-needed social interaction.
Challenge your mind.
Keeping your mind active and engaged can help to reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Try engaging in activities that challenge you mentally, such as puzzles, crosswords, or Sudoku.
Get enough sleep.
Getting enough quality sleep is important for overall health and well-being, and it may also help reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and avoid disruptive habits such as watching television or working on the computer in bed.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s have become an epidemic in our society. Luckily, there are things we can do to prevent or slow down the progression of these diseases possibly.
By following these five tips, you may be able to help reduce your risk.
As a part of the plan for comprehensive pain management and a healthy lifestyle, we consistently encourage and guide our patients toward these goals.
You may also get additional information on this and the related subjects in Dr. Purvez’s new book, ‘The Brain Behind Pain: Exploring the Mind-Body Connection’.
We are more than happy to chat with you and help get you started on the path to a healthier brain!