Does everyone know what dementia is?
According to Alzheimer’s Australia, dementia is a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. Unlike common perception, dementia is not one specific disease. It affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks- basically it affects all the functionality of a brain.
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Is it a serious condition? Yes, it could be. Imagine if we can’t perform our daily tasks any more- imagine forgetting things. It could be a minor one- when someone could forget where he/she puts his/her keys. but what about more serious ones such as forgetting where they live or what they were doing at a particular place. It could be daunting!
I, for one, am very very scared of dementia. We all thought that it only affect older people, however dementia can happen to any body. Although it is more commonly happen in people 65 years and older, people in their 40s and 50s can also have dementia.
Click here to know more about dementia.
What’s more important? reducing our risk of dementia. can we?
YES! the evidence indicates that we can!
it’s all about looking after ourselves- our brain, health and our lifestyle.
mental complexity and new learning assist with the maintenance and even regrowth of brain cells. higher levels of mental activity throughout life are consistently associated with better brain function and reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
so? it’s time to challenge ourselves- young or old, we need new challenge every now and then!
social activity, particularly one involving mental stimulation and physical activity can benefit our cognitive functioning, therefore reducing dementia risk.
so? time to take up new sports on the weekend- find a bushwalking group or join a local netball/volleyball- even lawn ball!
physical activity is never ever bad for you. an exercise, as simple as walking has been shown to be beneficial for better brain function and reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia. being active increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates the growth of brain cells. more brain cells- more brain volume!
this is my area of interest. can we really modify our diet to reduce the risk of dementia? i believe that healthy diet and lifestyle is beneficial across all chronic diseases- not only reducing the risk of dementia, but also other disease. as of this particular disease, more research is needed to understand if there is any specific food that may be able to reduce the risk of dementia. i doubt there is- it’s all about balance! balanced diet, covering all the food groups- feeding our body and brain and mind with the best possible nutrition can only occur from all different food groups.
we all know that high intake of saturated fats (found in meat, take away foods, pies, cakes) is associated with many chronic diseases and this is true for dementia. on the other hand, high intake of polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats (found in fish, nuts and olive oil) is good for you. the same goes for reducing dementia risk.
so what’s the conclusion? well. there is no one miracle food that can prevent dementia. it’s all about balanced. looking after yourself- avoid saturated fats (bad for you anyway- for any chronic diseases risk) and include appropriate amount of healthy poly- and mono-unsaturated fats in you daily diet!
what about alcohol? moderate alcohol consumption is the answer. if you already drink- always remember to have no more than two standard drinks per day and always have 2 alcohol-free days in your week. if you do not drink- well, good for you! don’t start!
healthy body weight is good for the heart and circulation- meaning better brain function and reduced dementia risk. again- just like other chronic diseases- maintaining healthy body weight is quite an essential factor! make sure you lead an active lifestyle- does not mean joining the gym- it could be as simple as daily walking, taking up stairs instead of elevators and gardening (or even walking your puppies!)
if you would like to read more about brain health program, click here.
i hope you find this information useful- and if you do, please share it with your loved ones- because we want to increase awareness of dementia- and because we care about people around us<3
your brain matters!
Alzheimer’s Australia. http://www.fightdementia.org.au
National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500
Your Brain Matters. http://www.yourbrainmatters.org.au