Tags: dementia | mental ability | alzheimer’s disease | vascular dementia

Five Fixable Things That Can Lead to Dementia If Left Untreated

Five Fixable Things That Can Lead to Dementia If Left Untreated
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By    |   Friday, 06 July 2018 09:33 AM

Experts say that dementia, the general term for a severe decline in mental ability, affects 47.5 million people worldwide and the numbers are growing. Dementia, like cancer, is an umbrella term that includes Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia which occurs after a stroke, and many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

However, new research shows that many cases of dementia are triggered by treatable conditions. Incredibly, experts say that one-third or more of the Alzheimer’s and dementia cases may be prevented by better management of lifestyle factors.

"Dementia is the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century," Dr. Dean Hartley, Ph.D, Director of Science Initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association tells Newsmax. "One in nine people at age 65 suffers from dementia and that number leaps to one in three by the age of 85. Now that we know the scientifically proven lifestyle factors to prevent the disease, the earlier we adopt these changes the more we can reduce our risk."

And top neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon, a sports medicine expert who served as the team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers for over 20 years, tells Newsmax that in his best selling book, "Square One: A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life", he outlines the steps we can take to stay clear minded and healthy.

"Too many people take not only a fatalistic but also a nihilistic approach to getting old and dementia," he says. "There are scientifically proven ways to markedly contribute to brain health and the prevention of dementia." Here are five fixable factors that can lead to dementia:

  1. Drinking alcohol. Alcohol when used in moderation may not pose significant impairment but as we age, it interacts differently with our bodies. Experts say that prolonged alcohol abuse in older adults can result in deficiencies in memory and damage to the kidneys, liver and brain.
  2. Eating lots of sugar. Eating too much sugar in your diet is dangerous, says Maroon. Sugar is directly involved with the brain and can cause major changes including increased risk for stroke which can lead to vascular dementia.
  3. Lack of exercise. Maroon, a renowned triathlete, says that exercise saved him from depression. But it can also help stave off dementia by boosting immunity and tamping down inflammation, he says. "Even Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, emphasized the mind-body connection," he says.
  4. Not getting enough sleep. Your brain needs time to rest and recuperate, just like your body, so it is essential to get a good night’s sleep to keep the brain healthy. "Keep a sleep journal and practice good sleep hygiene," says Maroon. "Establish regular sleep patterns and turn off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
  5. Spending too much time alone. A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that older women who maintained large social networks reduced their risk of dementia or prevented cognitive impairment. The results showed that the women were actually 26 percent less likely to develop dementia -- a case in point for keeping socially active as we age, says Maroon.

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Experts say dementia, the general term for a severe decline in mental ability, affects 47.5 million people worldwide and the numbers are growing. Dementia, like cancer, is an umbrella term that includes Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke . . .
dementia, mental ability, alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia
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2018-33-06
Friday, 06 July 2018 09:33 AM
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