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Dementia is a complex and debilitating neuro-degenerative disease. This is a progressive condition that affects the thinking, behavior of a person, and memory. Unfortunately, this disease worsens over time and can destroy memory. Last year in September, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on public health response to dementia, drawing attention to the fact that there are more than 55 million people living with dementia across the world, with a new case developing every 3 seconds. In fact, WHO says it is the seventh leading cause of death and a major cause of dependency among the elderly, but still people are hardly aware of how to manage dementia.
Although getting older is the biggest risk factor for dementia, evidence shows there are things you can do to help reduce your own risk. These include a few lifestyle changes.
In a study published by the American Academy of Neurology, both mental and physical activities including climbing straits or visiting frequently with family and friends are lifestyle changes that could reduce the risk of dementia.
That’s why to help you out understand which lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s, Health Shots spoke to Dr Pradeep Mahajan Regenerative Medicine Researcher, StemRx Bioscience Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Navi Mumbai.
Being overweight or obese can raise one’s blood pressure and the chances of type 2 diabetes, both of which are related to dementia. It is imperative to eat a well-balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses, and whole grains. Try to avoid junk, processed, and canned foods.
You will be shocked to know that a lack of physical activity can increase your chances of acquiring heart disease, becoming overweight or obese, and type 2 diabetes, all of which are associated with dementia. Older adults who fail to exercise regularly can encounter memory-related issues later in life. So, stay physically active regularly. Try to do activities such as brisk walking, cycling, or dancing. Do strengthening exercises or yoga.
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to stroke, heart disease, and cancer, which affect the nervous system and the brain. Ultimately, one can suffer from dementia in later life. Limit your alcohol intake, and stay healthy.
Are you aware that smoking leads to narrowing of blood vessels, raises blood pressure, and puts you at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Smoking is a risk factor for dementia as it leads to cognitive impairment.
Depression increases the risk of developing dementia. Try to do relaxation techniques such as meditation.
As you get older, the risk of health issues such as untreated high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes increase. These conditions are associated with increased risk of developing dementia. That’s why it’s really important that you keep a check on yourself and follow a healthy routine so that you stay safe and healthy.
If you’re getting older, it’s even more important to eat a healthy diet. A healthy and balanced diet will provide your body all the nutrients that are needed and can help reduce the risk of other diseases including dementia. So, eat whole grain such as rice and pasta, fruits and green vegetables, red meat, fish, and use plant oils. You need to limit the consumption of sugary foods, alcohol and salt.
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