Many people think that dementia only affects an individual’s ability to think, remember, and make informed decisions. In reality, this condition can affect one’s vision, movement, language, even behavior. As we grow older, the risk of developing this condition doubles every five years. While this is common among people aged 65 and above, there are rare cases when younger people develop it.
What Causes Dementia?
There are mainly five things that can cause dementia. The most common one is Alzheimer’s disease. The other common causes of dementia are mixed dementia, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Other diseases can cause people to develop this condition. This includes down syndrome, HIV infection, Parkinson’s disease, and progressive supranuclear palsy, to name a few. These rarer causes of dementia only account for five percent of all cases.
Can Dementia Be Prevented?
Since Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia, fighting this condition early on will help reduce your chances of developing it. A series of lifestyle changes can help you in achieving better brain health, like the following.
- Regular exercise of at least 30 minutes, five times each week
- A Mediterranean diet
- Reduce sugar and saturated fat intake
- Increase intake of foods rich in Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E
- Regular consumption of tea
- Effective stress management
- Breaking an old habit and doing things out of your comfort zone
- Playing brain-stimulating games
- Learning something new
- Laughing more
- Getting enough sleep
Helping a Loved One with Dementia
When symptoms of dementia start, it is crucial that you consult a specialist right away. They can help determine the cause and delay if not stop it on its tracks. Since it can lead to complications like poor nutrition, safety challenges, even the inability to perform activities of daily living, your loved one may now require professional support.
You have the option to take care of your loved one yourself or hire an in-home care agency that offers professional memory care for these patients. They can help support your loved ones with activities of daily living and keep them engaged despite their condition. They can also help you cope with your loved one’s struggles during these challenging times.
It also helps you educate yourself about their condition. Be patient and their shoulder to lean on. Offer your assistance if you see them struggling, and always include them when making decisions.
The Latest Dementia News
Thanks to the unwavering efforts of different professionals, many developments are now available to patients. They managed to create new interventions to reduce one’s risk of developing the disease, find early signs, and improve the patient’s quality of life, among many others. Here are some medical breakthroughs concerning this condition and how they change the way we deal with the condition itself.
Fine Particulate Air pollution and Dementia
According to a study, people with long-term exposure to particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or small (PM2.3) are at greater risk of developing dementia. Researchers found that one’s risk for developing it increases by 16% after being exposed to an increase of one microgram per cubic meter. This goes to show how air pollution can potentially put people at greater risk of developing it in the long run.
Simple Blood Test to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease
In Hong Kong, doctors created a simple test that helps serve as early screening and detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The blood test has a 96% accuracy rate. They detect plasma proteins associated with Alzheimer’s Disease to check if someone has AD or not.
Accessible Activities Can Delay the Onset of Dementia
According to the American Academy of Neurology, keeping your brain active can help delay the onset for up to five years. Think of reading books, playing puzzles, board, and card games, writing letters, and other cognitive activities. Researchers believe it is never too late to engage in such activities to protect yourself against this condition.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Track Cognitive Impairment and Age Difference
Researchers used an AI to train brain age prediction and examine genetic risk factors, cognitive impairment, age difference, and clinical progressions, among many others in people with AD. This helps differentiate the progressive Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) from a stable aMCI. This is the transition phase where one goes from normal aging to developing AD.
Dementia affects millions of people around the world. Researchers work tirelessly to help patients live a better quality of life. Thanks to their numerous studies, we now know how to prevent, enjoy early diagnosis and intervention of this affliction. Keeping up with the latest news concerning this condition makes it easier for us to better help our loved ones deal with their condition.