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What Is Age-Related Dementia And How Can It Be Avoided

Age-related dementia is often referred to as its most common form – Alzheimer’s disease. However, in reality, it is not a specific disease but a certain set of symptoms. Contrary to popular belief, dementia is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Dementia may not occur even in very advanced age. Dementia can start at the age of 50 or even 40, and this is called early-onset dementia.

Up to 40% of people over 65 experience memory loss symptoms, but dementia is not just a loss of short-term or long-term memory. Dementia is also characterized by:

  • Impaired thinking.
  • Changes in mood and behaviour.
  • Decreased ability to simultaneously control multiple tasks.
  • Difficulties with understanding speech and verbal communication.
  • Problems with spatial orientation.

A Bit of Statistics

More than half a million Canadians suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. The statistics are quite grim: currently, dementia affects:

  • 10% of 65-year-olds.
  • 25% of 75-year-olds.
  • 50% of 85-year-olds.

According to projections, this number will almost double by 2030.

What Can Cause Dementia?

Simply put, dementia is the result of a disruption in brain functions for some reason. This disruption is not necessarily caused by an injury. In fact, dementia caused by injury is quite difficult to correct and often requires prolonged rehabilitation. Dementia can result from a lack of nutrients. For example, a deficiency in vitamin B12 in old age can mimic dementia. Chronic iron deficiency can cause anemia and lead to dementia due to insufficient oxygen supply to brain tissues. Chronic oxygen deficiency can be caused by breathing problems. People who snore during sleep should be examined, and the cause of snoring should be eliminated. Snoring not only causes discomfort to your loved ones but is a direct path to dementia because it indicates impaired breathing.

Dementia can also be caused by infectious diseases. For example, chronic Lyme disease can lead to dementia. Neurotoxins produced by spirochetes can affect cognitive abilities. Dementia can also be caused by toxins obtained from the environment: water, food, air – everything is polluted to varying degrees.

Dementia can arise from a disruption in blood supply to the brain due to atherosclerosis or as a result of a previous stroke. It can also be the result of an accident, such as oxygen deprivation from drowning. The severity of the damage will depend on the extent of the injury, and brain function restoration will also require prolonged rehabilitation. As you can see, there are many possibilities, but the symptoms are the same and not unique.

Usually, if other causes of dementia are not found, Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed. Alzheimer’s disease is considered the most common cause of dementia in old age, but recent research has shown that almost a third of those officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease may have dementia due to another cause. This is because no tests are required to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. A similar situation occurs with Parkinson’s disease, where the diagnosis is based solely on external symptoms. Dementia can also occur with Parkinson’s disease, but whether it is caused by the same factors as motor symptoms remains an open question, as dementia with Parkinson’s disease does not always manifest.

How to Prevent Dementia?

Dementia can be reversed relatively easily, especially if the problem has not progressed significantly, and irreversible changes have not yet occurred. Causes such as a deficiency of vitamin B12, anemia, or the use of certain medications can be easily addressed, and dementia symptoms can disappear. Timely detoxification of neurotoxins can also prevent irreversible changes in the brain.

If other types of dementia have more clearly defined causes, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease has not been officially named yet. Autopsies show that the brain is highly inflamed in Alzheimer’s disease, but they do not provide answers to the reasons for this inflammation. Recently, scientists have started calling this disease “Type 3 diabetes,” referring to it as brain diabetes. This version is supported by the fact that people with diabetes are four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, and those with pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome are at an increased risk of dementia.

Currently, it is believed that insulin resistance over the years is what leads to Alzheimer’s disease. This means that controlling blood sugar levels and managing excess weight are essential parts of dementia prevention. Limiting the consumption of simple carbohydrates and increasing the intake of good fats can help. Choose foods with a low glycemic index, eliminate refined products from your diet (sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods), and add resources of healthy fats like avocados, walnuts, almonds, cashews, seeds, fish, olive oil, and coconut oil. Sometimes a ketogenic diet can help, but it is not suitable for everyone. It’s best to consult with a specialist before adopting this diet. Another helpful option is intermittent fasting, which can also help reduce insulin resistance.

Dementia caused by high levels of toxins in the brain can also be reversed. Toxins can be removed from the brain using a detoxification protocol that includes products such as cilantro, milk thistle, selenium, zinc, and other natural and medical supplements.

If dementia is caused by atherosclerosis in the brain’s blood vessels or as a result of a previous stroke, surgical intervention may be necessary, and lifestyle changes and dietary adjustments can help prevent further surgeries.

High homocysteine levels increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Taking certain supplements (B6, B12, and other supplements that support the methylation cycle) can help reduce homocysteine levels. Although methylation cycle function depends to a large extent on genetics, appropriately chosen supplements can help optimize its function.

Dietary supplements can be helpful in preventing dementia. We’ve already discussed some of them: B6 and B12. High-quality multivitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin D3, all of these can help maintain brain health. A good probiotic with a wide range of bacteria can help establish a connection between the brain and the gut.

Daily exercise is important for the lymphatic system’s function. A 30-minute daily walk is better than walking 2-3 hours once a week. You can’t replace daily tooth cleaning with a super-clean once a week. Toxins need to be removed every day; this is essential for healthy aging.

Regularly check your thyroid hormone and sex hormone levels. If they are imbalanced, it is necessary to correct them to preserve brain health.

Try to control your stress levels. Chronic stress has a negative impact on brain health. This can be managed through meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, and relaxation techniques. The ability to relax and manage stress is an art that is critical for maintaining brain function.

Healthy sleep is also important for the brain. Get 8 hours of sleep every night, and avoid going to bed too late. Ideally, you should be in bed by 10 PM. Sleep hygiene is a separate, important topic that we can discuss another time. Chronic sleep deprivation, lack of deep sleep stages, and oxygen deficiency during sleep due to snoring can all lead to dementia.

Conclusion

It is known that there is a higher genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease in people with certain genotypes, but genetics is not a verdict. Dementia can be prevented and reversed if it is detected at an early stage and attention is given to all factors affecting brain function: diet, physical activity, stress, nutrient deficiencies, toxins, hormonal imbalances, and chronic inflammation in the body.

As more brain cells become damaged and die, dementia symptoms gradually worsen. This is why it is crucial to recognize the problem at an early stage—it offers a better chance of reversing the issue. Moreover, it is always easier to prevent a problem than to reverse it, even at an early stage.


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