Are you older and get your exercise by hunting for your cell phone and car keys? There’s likely no reason to be concerned. Senior moments, as they’ve been dubbed, happen to all of us. If those moments expand to the point of disrupting normal life, then there may be cause to see a physician.
“Memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging,” says Beth Kallmyer, Alzheimer’s Association Vice President of care and support. “It may be a symptom of a form of dementia such as Alzheimer’s.”
Dementia is an umbrella term for a variety of brain conditions that impair memory, reasoning, and thinking. Under the term dementia, you’ll find such diseases as vascular dementia, Parkinson’s, Lewy body syndrome, frontotemporal dementia, and by far the largest category, Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s makes up nearly 80% of all dementias.
Alzheimer’s causes the nerve cells of the brain to die. In turn, the brain loses tissue and shrinks, causing increased memory loss, impaired thinking, loss of motor function, personality changes, inability to communicate, and eventually the ability to swallow. It is not reversible and there is currently no cure.
Reduce your risk
According to a study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s. Researchers reviewed nearly 400 studies and located “strong evidence” to support their statements.
Dr. Serge Gauthier, Director of the Alzheimer’s disease and Related Disorders Research Unit at McGill University in Montreal stated, “Following the interventions could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and other dementias by up to five years.”
10 Steps to take today:
- Stop Smoking and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke.
- Control your diabetes. Eat healthy if you don’t have diabetes.
- Exercise your brain by doing puzzles, reading, learning a new hobby, playing chess, or anything that requires you to think.
- Exercise your body to increase oxygen and blood flow. BMI should be under 24.9
- Minimize stress. Deep breathing, journaling, and yoga can help.
- Handle depression. Focus on the positives or talk to a professional if it persists for two weeks.
- Wear a helmet when biking, skating, or other activities where head trauma is possible.
- Control your blood pressure through diet and exercise, or medications if required.
- Get plenty of sleep. The brain cleans and refreshes itself while we sleep.
- Get plenty of vitamin c and d either through diet or supplements. Get outdoors for D.
You can reduce your odds of getting these diseases or at least delaying the onset for up to five years. Let’s get up and get going for a brighter tomorrow!