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Dementia: The Preventative Measure You Don't Know About

Aug 31, 2017 by Comfort Keepers of Riverside and Corona

Studies are continuously coming out about dementia and its possible causes, treatments, and preventative measures. Researchers are discovering more and more that prevention especially is perhaps the best “treatment” for the many forms of this disease.

Newer data shows that there are some rather unexpected preventative measures that can have a profound impact on alleviating dementia symptoms in seniors who are already diagnosed. Additionally, the most widely known methods of prevention aren’t as scientifically supported as we thought. Here are the biggest takeaways from the study:

Mixing it up gives the best results.

Don’t focus on one aspect to try and prevent/reduce your dementia symptoms – variety here really does make the difference.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are multifactorial diseases, meaning multiple factors contribute to their drastic cognitive effects. Taking a multifactorial approach to prevention and treatment, therefore, makes the most sense.

Cognitive training isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

It is not yet known which form of cognitive training is the best for preventing or delaying dementia. In fact, there’s very little evidence supporting that cognitive training does much good in that regard.

The best “cognitive training” you can get is a good education while you are young, and making sure you have continuing mental stimulation as you age. While brain games are a great way to give your brain a little bit of activity each day, they do very little to help with dementia compared to lifestyle changes.

Start long before you see symptoms.

Did you know that you begin to experience biological changes attributing to your dementia as long as a decade before you actually begin to see symptoms? As can be seen above, making lifestyle changes as early on as possible can help prevent/delay these physiological changes, thus preventing/delaying dementia symptoms.

Some of these lifestyle changes include:

  • Controlling your blood pressure
  • Managing other ailments, such as diabetes or heart disease
  • Cutting out processed foods and eating more whole foods
  • Exercising more

And yes, research shows that these do have a more profound impact on managing dementia than cognitive training.

There is no magical supplement.

You may have heard how vitamin E or other “fad” supplements can support brain health – but, again, there is very little scientific evidence to support this. As the theme of lifestyle changes continues through this, it’s actually overall dietary changes that affect your brain health – there is no magical herb or pill you can take.

Overall, what we thought we knew about keeping our brain healthy and preventing dementia is not the reality of it. Lifestyle changes are perhaps the best chance we have right now of managing dementia symptoms. 

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