Some believe dementia is a normal part of the aging process – it’s not. Dementia is a syndrome that is typically progressive, deteriorating cognitive function beyond what is expected from healthy aging. Many people live their whole lives without exhibiting signs or symptoms of dementia.
In the United States alone, approximately 5 million people are living with age-related dementia. More specifically, over 70% are struggling with Alzheimer’s. There is no cure for dementia, and though this syndrome strikes indiscriminately, there are steps you can take to increase prevention.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the steps you can take to help stave off dementia include:
- Keeping your mind active and stimulated by reading, solving puzzles, playing word games, etc.
- Be socially engaged and physically active; aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week.
- Quit smoking.
- Take your vitamins; studies have shown links between low levels of vitamin D to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Taking a daily B-complex vitamin and vitamin C may also be helpful.
- Manage your cardiovascular risks – treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
- Maintain a healthy diet and Body Mass Index.
- Get quality sleep.
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of dementia, consult your doctor or a neurologist. To learn more, visit the National Institute on Aging for additional articles on the symptoms of dementia and prevention.