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Updated by amelia-grantny on Dec 19, 2019
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6 Simple Steps to Reduce the Risk of Dementia

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia. Dementia is a condition that affects memory, thinking, and social abilities which severely interferes with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of dementia and death in the U.S.


Dementia includes the following symptoms:

Dementia includes the following symptoms:
  • Memory loss
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Difficulty handling complex tasks
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Difficulty with planning and organizing
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Disorientation

According to WHO, in the next 30 years, the number of people with dementia will triple, therefore it’s necessary to reduce the risk of dementia as soon as possible. Let’s review WHO guidelines that provide some tips for reducing the risk of dementia. Although this condition most commonly affects older people, this is not a normal part of aging and we need to start prevention now to reduce our risk of dementia in later life.


Control your weight

Keeping a healthy weight is essential for your overall health including mental health. Scientists suggest that people with a higher BMI have a higher risk of dementia than those who have a healthy weight. You can manage your weight with the help of a healthy diet, exercise, and reducing stress.


Manage your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels

One study has found that high blood pressure affects brain health and puts older adults at risk of dementia while high blood sugar levels are linked to increased risk of dementia. Other studies also suggest that high cholesterol levels are associated with a high risk of dementia. To prevent these issues you simply need to avoid processed foods and eat more veggies and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. A proper diet is a key to a healthy body and mind. Don’t forget to perform blood tests to check your blood sugar and cholesterol.


Give up smoking

Smoking is an insidious habit that gradually affects the heart, lungs, and other organs. It worsens overall health including brain health. According to NCBI, smoking may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.


Exercise regularly

Regular exercise improves cognitive function since it increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This is a group of proteins that maintain the healthy functioning of neurons that are involved in memory and learning. It doesn’t matter which type of physical activity you want to choose as long as you remain active.


Don’t abuse alcohol

While light alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of cognitive issues, heavy alcohol consumption has the opposite effect. People with alcohol addiction have a high risk of dementia. The WHO recommends avoiding heavy alcohol consumption in order to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and if you think you have alcohol problems, it’s time to visit an addiction treatment center NYC.


Eat a healthy diet

According to the WHO, eating a healthy diet like the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of cognitive decline. One study has found that the Mediterranean diet decreases the risk of depression and Alzheimer’s disease and boost brain health.

It’s also important to get a sufficient amount of vitamins and other nutrients since low levels of vitamin B-6, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and folate may increase the risk of developing dementia. According to scientists, people with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop any type of dementia.