Most of us know of a friend or relative that’s been affected by dementia, with the saddest cases being where the person no longer even recognizes close family members. That’s why many people fear dementia more than cancer or other diseases.
The UK National Health Service says that early symptoms to watch out for include: “memory loss, difficulty concentrating, finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word, being confused about time and place, and mood changes.” “According to the UK Alzheimer’s Society there are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia.”
The US Alzheimer’s Association states that, in the USA, 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. It kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Aside from Alzheimer’s Disease, accounting for about 70% of cases, there are other forms of dementia, including:
• Vascular Dementia (second most common)
• Lewy Body Dementia
• Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
• Huntington’s Disease
All involve loss of capability in the brain, but have their own causes and specific symptoms.
If you experience symptoms like memory loss (not just a few “senior moments”) then you should of course get medical advice and if necessary, obtain a diagnosis.
But the good news is that if you want to reduce the chance of getting dementia, whether Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms, then several sources indicate that you can take preventative action with your diet, exercise and lifestyle.
If you are at all concerned, check out the websites mentioned here, but also read books like “The End of Alzheimer’s” and “How Not to Die”. Broadly speaking, they indicate that to reduce the chances of dementia:
● Don’t smoke
● Keep a healthy bodyweight
● Monitor your blood pressure and pulse
● Eat a healthy, balanced diet
● Get enough nutrients and avoid toxins
● Alcohol in moderation
● Regular exercise
● Avoid injury
US Alzheimer’s Association: https://www.alz.org/alzheimer_s_dementia
UK Alzheimer’s Society: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/types-dementia
Link to post “Alzheimer’s Disease” for more on Alzheimer’s Disease