The Stages of Dementia and How it can be Prevented
Dementia has many forms, overall it is a chronic or progressive disorder that causes memory loss, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. The most common form of dementia is, Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is progressive loss of memory sometimes due to primary or secondary injuries to the brain.
Alzheimer’s affects 5.3 million Americans age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 Americans have younger-onset Alzheimer’s. It’s an unavoidable fact that the older an adult gets the more at risk they are of getting dementia. Unfortunately, dementia runs deeper than Alzheimer as it takes form in vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia.
Vascular dementia is the second leading form of dementia which occurs when the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain are damaged. Things like strokes or chronic wear and tear can cause damage to the blood vessels. Frontotemporal dementia is a disease that is characterized by the degeneration of nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. The frontal lobe is in charge of emotional expressions and problem solving skills along with memory. For a better lack of description, it is the control center for personality and communication skills. The temporal lobe is similar to the frontal lobe in the sense that it also contributes to memory and emotion. It is located behind the ears and extends to both sides of the brain rendering it responsible for vision and sensory input as well.
There are three distinct stages that can verify whether a person has dementia or not. The first stage is commonly known as the early stage and it includes signs of forgetfulness, losing track of time, and becoming lost in familiar place. The second, or middle stage consists of a person being lost in their own home, having increased difficulty communicating with others, and overall behavioral changes. The last stage of dementia includes being unaware of time and place, difficulty recognizing loved ones, and an increased need for assisted self care. Behavioral changes may also escalate and cause aggression with an individual.
The cure for dementia is an ongoing process. There is no current treatment but some cures are being investigated in various stages throughout clinical trials. It’s not necessary to wait for scientists and doctors to find a cure for dementia though. Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent the risk of getting dementia. Here are five tips on what one can do to prevent dementia in their life:
Be Physically Active – The idea of being active isn’t limited to those looking to lose weight. Keeping in shape is good for your heart and your mental wellbeing.
Don’t Smoke – There is an ongoing battle to reduce the amount of smokers in the U.S. and for good reason. Smoking causes arteries to narrow which leads to a rise in blood pressure. This can lead to a stroke or weakening of the brain’s blood vessels.
Maintain a Balanced Diet – A healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables and low levels of red meats and sugars. It is also important to watch salt intake as too much salt can lead to high blood pressure. Try to cut down on saturated fat, found in cake, butter products, and most cheeses.
Control Alcohol Consumption – Alcohol is another factor that can raise your blood pressure and cholesterol so keeping drinking to a minimum. The recommended daily limit of alcohol for men is 3–4 units and for women is 2–3 units. A unit of alcohol is roughly equal to 8g.
Exercise Your Brain –This task is much easier than it sounds. By performing everyday actions such as reading, doing crossword puzzles, or learning something new can keep your mind active.