Dementia is an umbrella term for all such instances where a person’s memory and ability of cognitive thinking gets severely damaged.
The effect of dementia is so severe that it can interrupt or halt the everyday activities of an individual. Statistics regarding the prevalence and healthcare expenses of this mental concern demonstrate the graveness of the matter.
According to World Alzheimer report, worldwide healthcare expenses on the treatment of different forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease will reach one trillion dollars this year. Statistics suggest that right now around five million people are living with dementia in the US and this number is projected to rocket to 14 million by 2050.
In the conventional healthcare domain, dementia is not considered as a preventable medical condition. Therefore, most of the healthcare expenditure exhausted in this domain goes to researching the underlying reasons which lead to this disease and to set out its prevention measure.
Due to the greater prevalence of dementia among our senior citizenry, many people think of it as a pitfall and unwanted consequence of aging. However, dementia can affect a person from any age group.
The fact that dementia is incurable makes it very vital to get oneself educated with all the factors that have been researched and studied for their role in increasing the chances of acquiring this mental illness in different forms.
For many years, snoring was just considered as an annoying involuntary habit of a sleeping individual. However, studies are now associating it with Alzheimer’s disease as well.
According to a study published in the journal SLEEP, obstructive sleep apnea (a principal cause of snoring in many cases) is linked to slowed cognitive functions and increased risks of developing dementia.
The researchers have further substantiated this claim by analyzing the spinal fluid of the patients participated in this case study. This analysis has shown that people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea go through molecular changes in their spinal fluid which might become a precursor for the development of dementia.
Thus, people suffering from excessive snoring and obstructive sleep apnea must focus on the treatment of their condition to limit the risks of dementia.
Diet Soda and Artificially-Sweetened Drinks
Use of soft drinks and other artificially processed drinks is detrimental to health in general. However, a research study from the previous year suggests that people with the high use of such drinks become more vulnerable to acquire dementia.
The study was conducted on more than 3,000 participants aged 45 and above who shared their lifestyle details to gauge the risk factor of getting this cognitive degenerative disease.
According to the study, people who have increased average intake of diet sodas become two to three times more vulnerable to acquire dementia. Even though the study is not conclusive, it shows that people who are already suffering from unhealthy physiological conditions, drinking diet sodas become more vulnerable to this mental health problem as well.
For that reason, it is important for our brain health to eat and live healthily.
Unhealthy Lifestyle and Behavior
Another interesting study has been conducted to identify the risk factors for dementia. A comprehensive piece of research suggests it might be possible that one-third cases of dementia are prompted by unhealthy lifestyles and behavioral choices.
For instance, the study has pointed out that hearing loss at a young age, social seclusion and lack of education after the 15 years stage can increase the chances of a person to suffer from dementia in later years.
Of course, eating a healthy portion of fruits and vegetables is highly recommended as well as a good daily exercise routine.
All these mentioned conditions and situations have a strong connection with the brain.
Calcium Supplements Can be Detrimental
Experts advise to not use nutritional supplements without any critical reason because scientific studies are constantly revealing harmful side effects of these OTC drugs. A study which underlines the detrimental effects of calcium supplements has established its link with dementia.
The study doesn’t provide a direct cause and effect of this phenomenon. However, it can be deduced that calcium can affect the supply of blood to the brain by altering the stiffness or contraction of vessels.
So, people who are already suffering from brain diseases must consult their physician prior to the administration of any nutritional supplement.
Compromised Cardiovascular Health
The field of medical science has already established a connection between the health of the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system through different studies.
A research study, which was presented at International Stroke Conference last year, suggested that health issues such as blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking, which affect the heart’s health, are also responsible for increasing the risk of dementia. So, it can be said that by keeping your heart healthy, you can simultaneously reduce the risk of dementia.
Less Amount of REM Sleep
REM (rapid eye movement) is a part of sleep cycle highlighted by increased brain activity. Therefore, most of the dreaming sequences occur during REM sleep. Now, science tells us that this dreaming phase of sleep can also protect our brain from the torment of dementia. According to a research study from the last year, older people with less amount of REM sleep become more susceptible to acquire dementia over an extended time period.
The study has only established a connection between reduced REM sleep and dementia instead of furnishing the binary of cause and effect. However, initial inferences of this study suggest that increased activity of the brain during sleep can help in rejuvenating the neuropathways that become fragile with aging and can lead to the onset of dementia.
Severe repetitive and non-repetitive head injuries can also be one of the risk factors for dementia. Studies have concluded that people who suffered from a serious head injury in the past are 60 percent more at the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- If you snore, find the cause. It might just be nothing (which is common) or may be the result of something that may need attention.
- Soda tastes good, but for the most part, is not very healthy. Dring it sparingly if at all.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Have daily fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly.
- Be wary of calcium supplements.
- Make sure you are getting your 7-8 hours of good sleep.
- If you acquire a head injury. Don’t manage it yourself. Seek treatment from a medical professional.
- See your doctor on a regular basis.
It is always best to consult with your physician regarding this disease and any diseases in order to better prepare for your underlying health, now and in the future.