Dementia poses a significant challenge for millions of individuals and their families worldwide.
But are there really ways to stop dementia from progressing, offering hope for a better quality of life? Scientifically, there are no specific ways on how to stop dementia from progressing once it starts.
Yet there are ways you can either slow down the progression, or even prevent it from happening. In this blog post, we will explore various strategies supported by scientific research that can help reduce dementia risk and maintain lifelong brain health.
Short Overview About Dementia
Dementiais a complex neurological condition characterized by a decline in cognitive abilities, memory loss, impaired thinking, and behavioral changes.
It's not a specific disease but an umbrella term encompassing various disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia, among others.
The primary dementia risk factors are genetics and age, which are both difficult to control. However, it is essential to recognize that these risk factors may also play a role in influencing other factors contributing to the development of dementia.
According to global statistics, up to 40% of dementia cases may be delayed or preventedthrough adopting a healthy lifestyle that involves regular physical activity, effective stress management, and following nutritious diets.
Ongoing, there are clinical trials that constantly help researchers in their mission against this condition, and these trials offer valuable insights into potential preventive measures, early detection methods, and innovative treatments for dementia.
Brain Health and Dementia Prevention
Brain health has an essential role in reducing the risk of dementia. Through living a brain-healthy lifestyle, it is possible to possibly prevent or slow down its progression.
To optimize this healthier way of life and thus improve one’s cognitive wellbeing, there are six significant steps that should be taken.
Some of these are physical exercise, nutrition planning that includes healthy eating habits, handling stress suitably, sustaining social networks, and a good night sleep along with engaging in stimulating intellectual activities on an ongoing basis.
These tactics have been seen to not only boost overall wellness but also benefit emotional balance while maintaining mental sharpness and protecting against any potential damage to the body’s vessels caused by dementia.
What Are Ways to Slow Down Dementia From Progressing?
Just like what we’ve mentioned earlier, there are ways you can do to slow down the progression of this disease, or directly prevent it from happening.
Here’s a comprehensive guidance on how an individual can reduce the risks of dementia while preserving lifelong mental wellbeing.
Focusing on Physical Activity
Engaging in physical exercise on a regular basis can help reduce the risk of developing dementia, thus promoting brain health and overall wellbeing.
It is recommended to include at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic activities such as biking or dancing and even do some muscle strengthening exercises twice each week.
By engaging in regular physical activity, you can not only improve your overall health but also reduce the risk of cognitive decline and enhance brain function. It is recommended to start with minimal amounts of sessions, which increases self-confidence gradually, making it easier to build momentum and preventing any excessive overexertion, both physically and mentally, in the early stages.
So lace up those sneakers or roll out that yoga mat - your brain will thank you for it!
Diet and Nutrition for Brain Health
Evidence shows that those who are overweight at middle age have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life –four times more so than obese individuals – so it is important to keep a healthy weight.
Hence, it’s important to maintain a healthy body and a healthy brain through a balanced and nutritious diet to potentially lessen the progression of dementia.
Eating according to the Mediterranean Diet, with its emphasis on healthy fats such as fish oil from cold-water fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, can significantly reduce your chances for cognitive impairment or even Alzheimer’s disease.
Moreover, the intake of protective vitamins and antioxidants found in green leafy vegetables, berries and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli is also recommended.
Managing Stress and Mental Health
Research has associated chronic tension with shrinkage in crucial memory regions, and other structural changes within the body and to improve brain health.
This results in impeding growth of nerve, brain cells and raising the chance for Alzheimer’s disease and similar conditions. So in order to reduce the negative effects of oxidative stress and life pressure, people can attempt meditation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation or yoga exercises.
It is significant to make time for pleasurable pursuits that act both as an enjoyable break from life’s stresses while safeguarding mental wellbeing too. Lastly, if anxiety signs are present, consulting healthcare providers should be considered seriously.
Maintaining Social Connections
Another research suggests that staying socially engaged may be linked to a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, and other dementia-like, brain, and heart disease related symptoms in old age.
So what can you do?
Keep the connection with your friends and family. Plan regular social activities such as volunteering or joining groups - all the many ways to keep your social life active.
This in turn will result in lowering stress levels, improving one’s mood and strengthening relationships, all of which have been noted as being helpful towards cognitive resilience and emotional wellbeing.
Protecting Vascular Health
In order to maintain good vascular health and reduce the risk of dementia, it is important to keep blood flow proper in the brain. This can be achieved by avoiding certain substances like salt, caffeine and alcohol consumption while engaging regularly in physical exercise.
Our vascular system, consisting of arteries and veins, serves as the essential pathway for blood circulation throughout our bodies, supplying vital oxygen and nutrients to every organ, including our brain. Some even resort to molecular hydrogen inhaler for a healthy and regular supply of oxygen their body needs wherever they are.
This can be achieved by embracing a hearty-healthy diet and by staying physically active. So might as well avoid anything that can cause high-cholesterol levels, and limit certain substances like salt, caffeine, and alcohol consumption, all while engaging in regular physical exercise.
Cognitive Stimulation and Lifelong Learning
Cognitive stimulation and lifelong learning extends far beyond formal education and embraces a diverse range of activities, such as reading, puzzles, arts, crafts, and even learning new languages.
These activities are excellent ways for individuals to sharpen their cognition while delaying memory-related illnesses. As individuals embrace new challenges and information, the brain remains agile, resilient, and better equipped to face the test of time.
Sleep and Dementia Risk
The connection between brain health and adequate quality sleep is clear. Research suggests that a lack of proper rest can raise the danger of dementia, including developing it later in life.
Taking steps to address sleeping issues such as snoring or having a regular sleep schedule has been connected with diminishing potential risks associated with memory formation and Alzheimer’s disease.
That’s why having bedtime routines and activities like reading books before going to bed, can help ensure good-quality sleep and overall neurological wellness.
A lifetime of good brain health can be achieved through a lifestyle that incorporates physical activity, a balanced diet, stress management strategies, social interaction and cognitive stimulation along with quality sleep.
By actively assessing risk factors and making changes to one’s daily life, individuals have the potential to reduce their chances of developing dementia in the future.
The time for action is today! Start taking steps toward better overall well-being right away so you may secure lifelong brain health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dementia progression be stopped?
Dementia progression cannot be completely stopped, but certain lifestyle choices and interventions may help slow it down, or even prevent it from happening.
But when indicators are already present, it will gradually worsen over time, and is unavoidable.
What is the best way to slow the progression of dementia?
The best way to slow the progression of dementia includes adopting a healthy lifestyle, engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a balanced diet, staying mentally and socially active, and managing underlying health conditions like high blood pressure.
What triggers dementia to get worse?
Dementia can worsen due to various factors, including aging, the presence of other health conditions, and the lack of proper care and support. For example, fluctuations in blood pressure or other ongoing health issues may play a role as well as the unhealthy chemicals and trans fats found in some diets.
What are the main risk factors for dementia?
The main risk factors for dementia include advancing age, family history of dementia, genetics, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and sedentary lifestyle.
How can physical activity help reduce dementia risk?
Physical activity is an important factor in keeping the brain healthy and reducing dementia risk. Regular physical activity enhances blood flow to the brain, promotes brain health, and may help reduce the risk of developing dementia. It also contributes to overall cardiovascular health, which is beneficial for brain function.