Preventing Alzheimers and Dementia

My father-in-law had dementia. It was a scary and painful thing to witness, as he gradually lost the ability to learn and remember things, both present and past.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are approximately 5.4 million people of all ages in the United States alone with Alzheimer’s disease and another one million with other types of dementia. Dementia is defined as damage to brain cells that results in progressive thinking and memory problems. Dementia is the umbrella category; Alzheimer’s disease is only one of the types, along with alcoholic dementia, Parkinson’s, frontal temporal lobe or vascular dementia.

Did you know?

  • 1 in 5 people suffer from neurological disorders
  • 1 in 4 will get Alzheimer’s by age 60 (1 in 2 by age 85)
  • 1 in 7 between ages 18 and 39 already complain of memory problems
  • 1 in 6 adults is on a psychiatric drug
  • Average attention span 20 years ago was 12 seconds; today it’s roughly ½ of that

According to Dr. Daniel Amen, the best strategy to decrease your risk of accelerated aging and brain disorders is to eliminate risk factors. Most of these risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias are either preventable or treatable.

  1. Obesity

  2. Low education

  3. Depression

  4. High blood pressure

  5. Carotid artery narrowing

  6. Physical frailty

  7. Smoking

  8. High homocysteine level (linked to heart attack risk)

  9. Type 2 diabetes

  10. Excessive alcohol use

Since the problems of aging, including dementia, start much earlier than their symptoms may manifest, now is the time to take your brain health seriously. Especially if you have a history of dementia in your family.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

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