Living A Sedentary Life
If going home to spend the rest of your night on the couch sounds like a great idea, think again. Your couch potato habits and lack of physical activity are increasing your risk of dementia. On the other hand, exercise has been shown to have protective effects on the brain, which can ward off memory loss. Regardless of your age, you should start moving around to protect your brain.
Foods With A Lot Of Trans Fats
Transfats refer to a kind of unsaturated fat that has harmful effects on brain health. The ones that occur naturally in animal products are not the problem. The issue lies with the industrially manufactured Trans fats called hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Research shows that taking too much of these oils leads to poorer memory, cognitive decline, lower brain volume, and risk of dementia.
Can Dementia Be Prevented
Because the causes of dementia are not yet fully known, there is no sure way to prevent dementia. However, you can reduce the risk of dementia by caring for your:
- Heart health Whats good for your heart is good for your brain. Have a healthy diet and stop smoking.
- Body health Regular physical activity increases blood flow to the brain. Keep an active lifestyle.
- Mind health An active mind helps build brain cells and strengthens their connections. Stay social, play games like puzzles and crosswords, and take up new hobbies and languages.
Learn more about the risk factors of dementia such as ageing, smoking and high cholesterol and blood pressure:
What Is Dementia Symptoms Types And Diagnosis
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning thinking, remembering, and reasoning to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of living.
Dementia is more common as people grow older but it is not a normal part of aging. Many people live into their 90s and beyond without any signs of dementia.
There are several different forms of dementia, including Alzheimers disease. A persons symptoms can vary depending on the type.
Biggest Killer In The Uk Is Now Covid
Annual statistics report COVID-19 as the UKs biggest killer, moving dementia to second for the first time since 2015. But deaths from dementia remain high compared with other major diseases. We explore why.
This article was first published on 6 September 2019 and most recently updated on 28 July 2021.
Annual death statistics for England and Wales, released by the Office for National Statistics in 2018, showed the number of people dying with dementia is steadily increasing year on year.
However, the latest report, released in early July 2021, shows the number of people dying with dementia has reduced.
Due to the pandemic, COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in England and Wales in 2020. Although numbers of people dying with dementia may appear lower at first glance, this is not necessarily the case.
In Kentucky More Than 75000 People 65 And Older Are Living With The Disease Which Is The Sixth Leading Cause Of Death In The State
Coffee is part of many peoples morning routines, but researchers say consuming too much Joe could put your brain at risk.
A study out of Australia showed consuming more than six cups of coffee daily led to a 53% increased risk of developing dementia later in life. While the researchers are not sure exactly how too much coffee links with brain health issues, they noted that finding the right balance of consumption may help protect against future brain difficulties.
Accounting for all possible permutations, we consistently found that higher coffee consumption was significantly associated with reduced brain volume essentially, drinking more than six cups of coffee a day may be putting you at risk of brain diseases such as dementia and stroke, said Kitty Pham, the lead researcher of the study.
Dementia is a degenerative brain condition. Over time, the condition affects memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday tasks. In Kentucky, more than 75,000 people 65 and older are living with the disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the state.
Vitamin K2 Stimulates Bone Formation By:
- Promoting the production of osteoblasts .
- Activating osteocalcin, the vitamin K2 dependent protein that pulls calcium into bone.
- Increasing a number of key markers of bone formation .
- Increasing levels of stanniocalcin 2, a hormone that is secreted when calcium levels rise too high in the blood and inhibits calciums absorption from the intestines and its reabsorption from the kidneys until blood levels of calcium drop.
- Keeping osteoblasts active for longer by reducing the production of two proteins involved in osteoblast cell death.
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Isnt Dementia Part Of Normal Aging
No, many older adults live their entire lives without developing dementia. Normal aging may include weakening muscles and bones, stiffening of arteries and vessels, and some age-related memory changes that may show as:
- Occasionally misplacing car keys
- Struggling to find a word but remembering it later
- Forgetting the name of an acquaintance
- Forgetting the most recent events
Normally, knowledge and experiences built over years, old memories, and language would stay intact.
Appetite Changes As A Result Of Dementia
As most caregivers know, many people who have dementia experience sudden changes in appetite which can lead to appetite loss, weight loss or increased cravings of sugary foods and weight gain. Often people with dementia dont taste food and experience flavor like they once did, which can change appetite preferences. Because taste buds are diminished as people age, people with dementia opt for heavy foods or foods with a lot of flavor, like sugary sweets.
Some researchers also believe that there is a link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimers, even going so far as to call Alzheimers a third type of diabetes. Researchers have found that the brain actually produces insulin, just like the pancreas. The amount of insulin produced in the brain drops as Alzheimers progresses, which leads to brain cell death, especially in the parts of the brain responsible for memory.
Further linking sugary cravings and dementia, recent studies have shown that when dementia attacks the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, unhealthy cravings increase. That part of the brain is responsible for self-restraint in our diet. Thus, when a person has dementia and that particular cortex is hijacked, they often experience preferences for high calorie foods.
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How Is Dementia Treated
Treatment of dementia depends on the underlying cause. Neurodegenerative dementias, like Alzheimers disease, have no cure, though there are medications that can help protect the brain or manage symptoms such as anxiety or behavior changes. Research to develop more treatment options is ongoing.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, healthy eating, and maintaining social contacts, decreases chances of developing chronic diseases and may reduce number of people with dementia.
Heart Risk Factors That Can Be Controlled
- Blood pressure untreated high blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. Effective long-term treatment can reduce dementia risk
- Body weight obesity in midlife is associated with an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment and dementia
- Cholesterol A history of high cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia
- Diabetes type 2 diabetes in midlife and later is associated with an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment and dementia
- Smoking smoking is a risk factor for dementia and some studies have shown that a history of passive smoking may also increase dementia risk.
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Research Into The Cause Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies is characterised by the presence of abnormal spherical structures, called Lewy bodies, which develop inside nerve cells in the brain. Lewy bodies are accumulations of a protein called alpha-synuclein. It is thought that these contribute to the degeneration and death of nerve cells.
Dementia with Lewy bodies sometimes co-occurs with Alzheimers disease and/or vascular dementia. It may also be hard to distinguish dementia with Lewy bodies from Parkinsons disease, which is also associated with Lewy bodies, and some people who have Parkinsons disease develop a similar dementia.
At present there is no known cause of dementia with Lewy bodies and no risk factors have been identified. In very rare cases, the disease appears to be inherited, but a genetic cause has not yet been found. In short, we do not know why Lewy bodies form in the brain and research continues in the attempt to find an answer. Much of this research is focussed on searching for the genetic roots of dementia with Lewy bodies, exploring the mechanisms of alpha-synuclein accumulation, and discovering how Lewy bodies cause the particular symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies.
Risk Factors With Dementia
There are different personal risk factors that cause people to fall, however, people with dementia are at greater risk because they:
- are more likely to experience problems with mobility, balance and muscle weakness
- can have difficulties with their memory and finding their way around
- can have difficulties processing what they see and reacting to situations
- may take medicines that make them drowsy, dizzy or lower their blood pressure
- are at greater risk of feeling depressed
- may find it difficult to communicate their worries, needs or feelings
Each person will experience dementia in their own way, and may experience all or none of these risk factors.
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The Known Effects Of Anesthesia On Brain Cell
The frailty factor is unignorably real, but it doesnt completely rule out anesthesia as the reason behind memory loss or its connection to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimers.
General anesthesia used during most surgical procedures can increase the level of toxic clumps on amyloid and tau proteins. These toxins inside the brain cell are indicative of Alzheimers disease. They can cause severe damage to the brain cells over time.
Anesthesia can also prevent braincells from sending signals to the repair cell. This is one of the most importantsteps of cell repair and regenerationafter surgery. Due to the inability tosend signals, the repair is delayed to the point where inflammation gets worse.Prolonged damage can have long term and short-term impact on the patientscognitive ability.
Another study revealed that connection between anesthesia and dementia is more profound among patients with an increased genetic risk. It may not necessarily trigger dementia on its own, but it can bring the underlying symptoms to the surface. Since it lowers the body temperature and levels of oxygen in the blood, it can speed up cell degeneration in such patients.
What Causes Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is caused by different conditions that interrupt the flow of blood and oxygen supply to the brain and damage blood vessels in the brain.
People with vascular dementia almost always have abnormalities in the brain that can be seen on MRI scans. These abnormalities can include evidence of prior strokes, which are often small and sometimes without noticeable symptoms. Major strokes can also increase the risk for dementia, but not everyone who has had a stroke will develop dementia.
Other abnormalities commonly found in the brains of people with vascular dementia are diseased small blood vessels and changes in “white matter” the connecting “wires” of the brain that are critical for relaying messages between brain regions.
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Which Medications Are Anticholinergics
You might be surprised to know that anticholinergic medications include seemingly harmless over-the-counter medications like antihistamines and sleep aids .
To help you understand which prescription and over-the-counter drugs have anticholinergic effects, we found a helpful list from ElderConsult of common medical conditions and the anticholinergic medications typically used to treat them.
Medical conditions include a wide variety of common ailments like overactive bladder, sleep issues, coughs, colds, allergies, behavior issues, mood disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , and Parkinsons disease.
This list might not include every single condition or medication, but its a good start to finding out if any of your older adults medications are anticholinergics.
Use this list to have an informed conversation with your older adults doctor about the risks and benefits of taking that medication.
- Constipation / urine retention
Not Eating Enough Fat
You may be on a fat-free diet or skimp out on fat because like many people, you believe it will cause you to gain weight. But eating the right types and amount of fat will not only keep you at a healthy weight, but it can protect your brain too. People who consumed more fat than carbohydrates were 42 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment.
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What Are The Most Common Types Of Dementia
- Alzheimers disease. This is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is caused by specific changes in the brain. The trademark symptom is trouble remembering recent events, such as a conversation that occurred minutes or hours ago, while difficulty remembering more distant memories occurs later in the disease. Other concerns like difficulty with walking or talking or personality changes also come later. Family history is the most important risk factor. Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimers disease increases the risk of developing it by 10 to 30 percent.
- Vascular dementia. About 10 percent of dementia cases are linked to strokes or other issues with blood flow to the brain. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors. Symptoms vary depending on the area and size of the brain impacted. The disease progresses in a step-wise fashion, meaning symptoms will suddenly get worse as the individual gets more strokes or mini-strokes.
- Lewy body dementia. In addition to more typical symptoms like memory loss, people with this form of dementia may have movement or balance problems like stiffness or trembling. Many people also experience changes in alertness including daytime sleepiness, confusion or staring spells. They may also have trouble sleeping at night or may experience visual hallucinations .
Good Advice For Handling Confusion:
- Be attentive to the situation and try to provide the person who is confused with clues to help them get back on track.
- If you are talking about specific objects or people, point to them or show their pictures to make the communication easier.
- If confusion occurs in response to your words or instructions, try to say the same thing using shorter sentences or simple words.
- You should not lie if the person cannot remember e.g. that their parents are dead, but similarly try not to tell them every time they forget.
- If confusion seems to deepen, try redirecting the persons attention to another activity or topic.
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There Are Many Causes Of Dementia
Any of these symptoms can be caused in multiple ways. Alan, for example, was found to suffer from cognitive impairment related to his HIV infection Martha had Alzheimers disease interfering with her short-term memory and comprehension. Bert, after his diagnostic work up, was recognized to have frontotemporal dementia leading to difficulty controlling behavior and aphasia . Mary had vascular cognitive impairment following her stroke. Bill had suffered brain damage due to oxygen deprivation during his drowning. Each was considered to have dementia, yet the differences between them were huge. In each case, however, an injury or disease process was responsible for destruction of brain cells.
Causes of dementia may include:
Vitamin K2s Protective Effects On The Vasculature Have Been Confirmed In Many Human Studies
Following is a very small sampling of recent human studies confirming vitamin K2s highly protective effects on our blood vessels:
One of the first large human studies to demonstrate vitamin K2s beneficial effects on the vasculature was the Rotterdam study, whose results were published in 2004 in the Journal of Nutrition.
The Rotterdam study involved 4,807 healthy men and women, aged 55 years or older, and looked at the relationship between dietary intake of vitamin K and aortic calcification, heart disease, and all-cause mortality.
The aorta is the main artery in the human body. It originates from the left ventricle of the heart, extends down to the abdomen, then splits into two smaller arteries , which extend down into the legs. The aorta is responsible for sending oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to all parts of your body through the systemic circulation. You can see why calcification of your aorta is extremely harmful to your health.
In the Rotterdam study, dietary intake of vitamin K2 as low as 32 mcg per day, with no intake of vitamin K1, was associated with a 50% reduction in death from cardiovascular issues related to arterial calcification and a 25% reduction in all-cause mortality.9
For every 10 mcg of dietary vitamin K2 consumed in the form of one of the long-chain menaquinones , risk of coronary heart disease was reduced by 9%.
A few highlights from the latest of these:
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