Dementia has been called one of the most physically, mentally and economically devastating disorders that affects over millions worldwide. A new study published in The Lancet Global Health has said that dementia could be prevented in low to middle-income countries like India by focusing on some risk factors of dementia like childhood education. Dr Naaheed Mukadam from the University College London Psychiatry school said that 35 per cent of dementia could be blamed on factors like poor childhood education, hearing loss, smoking, hypertension, obesity, physical inactivity, social isolation, depression, and diabetes. While the exact cause and prevention measures of dementia are not known, there are many things you can start doing right away to reduce the risk of this dreaded disease:
Reducing stress: Stress is a major factor that could put you at risk of dementia. A research found that stress in midlife could lead to the development of dementia in old age. The study also found that an increase in the level of cortisol over a prolonged period could also be a contributor. The researchers said that stress reduction should receive more focus for those who are looking to prevent dementia.
Eating nuts daily: We have all been told about the benefits of eating nuts like almonds daily to improve our memory. Turns out, eating a handful of nuts every day could also help improve mental health and could be the key to better cognitive health, improved thinking, reasoning and memory in older people. All of this could help prevent dementia.
Lowering blood pressure: Blood pressure needs to be controlled at all ages, but a study found that blood pressure control in old age could help reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment which is a precursor of early dementia. Consistently lowering blood pressure for three years will have positive effects on the brain.
Getting good sleep: Poor sleep has been associated with a number of disorders. One of the most important reasons why one must have good quality, sufficient sleep every night is that poor sleep can damage your brain health significantly. Lack of sufficient sleep has been linked to an increase in the levels of a protein called tau in the brain, which is responsible for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Exercising regularly: Physical exercise has been known to delay the onset of dementia according to various studies. A research by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) says that exercise increases the levels of irisin, a hormone which could help with the reversal in memory loss.