Curving the Risk of Dementia: Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy

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by Courtney Nurse Writer Courtney Nurse Writer, BSN

Has 13 years experience.

A look into simple and proven effective ways to decrease your risk of developing dementia. Through the synopsis of two research articles, the reader will be able to obtain ways they can participate in actively reducing their chances of developing this cognitive disability by making simple and straightforward changes to their lives.

Lowering the risk of losing oneself to dementia

Curving the Risk of Dementia: Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy

One of the most frightening things a person may argue that could happen would be that they would slowly start to lose their ability to perform basic tasks like feeding themselves, bathing themselves, or even losing what memory of themselves they once had. When a person loses that ability of cognition, in a way, they are also losing themselves. Sometimes they may forget their name or their loved ones’ name, or they may remember varying degrees of information along a certain time point but be unable to recall anything past that point.

The National Institute on Aging defines Dementia as “The loss of cognitive functioning-thinking, remembering, and reasoning- to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.” It is unimaginable how harsh this disease affects a person, and each person will exhibit signs differently. Some things one may see if the obvious memory loss and confusion. These patients may also find it difficult to express themselves, repeat questions, act very impulsively, and may even find themselves lost in their own neighborhood.

In the following article, we will look at some easy ways to possibly cut down on our chances of developing this condition that takes away crucial parts of human beings.

1- Are there any ways I can possibly prevent Dementia from developing?

It is known, at this time, that there is no cure for Dementia. However, what if there was something that maybe could lower your risk of developing it? If there was, and even if the idea was opposed by a bunch of naysayers, would you do those activities just to possibly lower that risk of developing dementia?

The American Academy of Neurology released a study where it found that if a person did certain things, they may lower their risk of developing this condition. The types of activities were things that one could argue takes care of the body as a whole. The participants of the study did regular things like performing household chores and daily exercise. They also had regular visits with family and friends. The study showed a lower risk of developing dementia when they were frequently performing those activities than compared to those who did not. You can see how important it is to keep the mind healthy with the stimulation of not only the familiarity of family but also a general sense of accomplishment that one gets from having a purpose when doing chores. We know that physical activity is important as well, but what else can we do to possibly prevent the disease?

2- Is diet really an important factor?

There have been many people who will constantly say how diet is such an important factor in life. Eating vegetables and fruits and skipping high sugary drinks is the staple of such claims. Can diet affect our chances of developing Dementia? Another study released by the American Academy of Neurology has found an association that individuals who eat high amounts of what they call ultra-processed foods are at a higher risk of developing dementia. These types of foods are those that are higher in salt, sugars, and fats. They are typically lower in healthy things like fiber and protein. These foods are generally those that are deemed as convenient and include soft drinks, ice cream, fried chicken, packaged loaves of bread, and cereals that are flavored, just to name a few. These foods have also been shown to have certain molecules that have emitted from the packaging or have come about from heating. These elements, the study says, have been shown to cause ill effects on a person’s ability to think and effected their memory, as evidenced by the results of other previous studies.

Could it be possible that if a person simply reduces their intake of ultra-processed foods, they could, in turn, reduce their risk of getting dementia? Would it be so terrible to cut out those convenient elements of our diets? This study has supportive data to suggest that outcome. The researchers found that individuals could reduce their risk by 19% simply by cutting out little bits of ultra-processed foods and replacing them with things like fresh fruits, veggies, and legumes! The participants of the study only cut out a small percentage of the ultra-processed and had convincing results. This may take a bit of planning on the individual’s part, but it would be a better reward in the end to retain memory than enjoy the moment of bliss on your taste buds.

3- What is the bottom line?

If you are on the side of things where it is important to have data presented to you in order to visualize the results, then check out these two studies. All too often, we hear from medical staff that we need to take care of our bodies by doing exercise and eating healthy. Here we have good evidence that it is true. In both studies, the researchers followed these patients over the course of many years, and they have shown us that by exercising not only the body with physical exercise but also by keeping our diets clear of processed foods and the mind sharp with social interactions, we can at minimum help to reduce the risk of developing dementia.


References

Eating More Ultra-processed Foods Associated with Increased Risk of Dementia

Study: Chores, Exercise, and Social Visits Linked to Lower Risk of Dementia

What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis

Courtney Battaglia is a registered nurse with over thirteen years of experience in multiple areas of specialty including autoimmune disorders, infusion, cardiology, the surgical patient, and coding education. She has experience providing high-quality and professional content. Courtney’s goals are to incorporate her love of writing with her working knowledge as a nurse to further assist patients in their daily lives.

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