Dementia Prevention and Awareness

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Dementia is a common problem of the elderly population. There are about 40 million cases of dementia today. Alzheimer’s disease comprises more than half of the cases of dementia.This trend just seems to be unstoppable. According to the Alzheimer’s Disease International, it is set to treble worldwide by 2050 causing a global epidemic. Given that there will be a lot of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the health care budget will significantly rise. So, effort must be made to reduce the cost of dementia care by raising the dementia awareness and prevention strategies.

There is no established method for the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. But a small change in your diet or lifestyle can mean a lot for preventing dementia. New prevention strategies that are being studied are focused on lifestyle and dietary factors. Micronutrients like folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D and magnesium are thought  to maintain and improve brain health.The results with turmeric and vitamin B are promising. Fish oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acid is also beneficial for the neurons. Similarly exercise has been shown to be effective in preventing amnesia associated with aging. Playing board games like chess, solving puzzles and cross words provides mental stretching to the brain. Experiments have shown these games to be helpful for the prevention of dementia.

Regular exercise, healthy diet and mental stimulation can also be called the three pillars of brain healthy lifestyle. Exercise increases blood circulation and reduces the cholesterol level. Healthy diet provides energy and prevents the formation of harmful chemicals in the brain. Games like Chess and Sudoku gives you the mental stimulation needed for keeping the brain active. And active brain helps in resisting degeneration of brain cells which is responsible for dementia.

For those wanting to know further details about dementia, find it on What is dementia? The signs, symptoms and causes of dementia – Medical News Today.

If you are worried about the recent cognitive decline or fearing that you might have dementia or Alzheimer’s Know the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s disease from Alzheimer’s association.

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Slowing down memory loss

What is memory loss?

Memory requires encoding information, storing it in different parts of brain and retrieving the information as and when needed. If brain is unable to do any of these steps, it is called memory loss or amnesia.

What are the types of memory loss?headache

Mainly two types:

Anterograde amnesia( Unable to form new memories)

Retrograde amnesia(Unable to remember things prior to any incident f.eks trauma)

Anterograde amnesia is the type of memory loss occurring during old age. The loss in ability to form memories as a person ages is also called age associated memory impairment (AAMI). It generally starts at middle age ( approx.40 years) and goes on increasing with age.

Age related memory decline is taken as normal, but there are conditions in which memory loss can be worse than normal as occurs in MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT and ALZHEIMER´S DISEASE.

What are the ways to slower memory loss?

Irrespective of the cause, there are certain ways which can slower memory decline. These might not be equally effective in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, but are of great help in age related memory decline and mild cognitive impairment. These include:

Exercise: regular aerobic exercise like running, It causes hippocampal neurogenesis and increases the plasticity of brain. Hippocampus is important primarily for learning and memory.

Diet: Include brain food in your diet on daily basis. Avoid diets with excessive fat. Also eat food that are rich source of vitamin A, B,C, and E. These include green vegetables(Spinach), yellow fruits(Papaya, mango) for Vit A. Sea foods , cheese,and fish oil for Vit B. Citrus fruits like lime, orange for Vit C and spinach, mustard green, kiwi and papaya for Vit E.

Micronutrient supplements : You can take micronutrient supplement if necessary. Besides vitamins, omega-3-fatty acid is an important micronutrient that keeps the neurons in your brain happy. Eating fish oil and salmon provides you omega-3-fatty acid.  The supplements of omega-3-fatty acid can be found in the market with various names.

Daily brain stimulation: Solve puzzles, play mind stimulating games like chess, sodoku etc. Also you recall your daily activities while going to bed to stimulate your brain . Several online brain games available in internet for this purpose.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/524820