Over 47 million people live with Alzheimer’s and other dementias worldwide.
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, which is an opportunity to take action and join the fight against this fatal disease and other dementias.
Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells.
Dementia is more than just memory loss. Dementia includes memory, thinking and behavior problems.
Although most people associate dementia with memory loss, the condition affects people in a variety of ways. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, visual perception, reasoning and judgment and communication and language can also be impaired.
Dementia is not a normal part of aging, but age is the biggest risk factor. Over 47 million people live with Alzheimer’s and other dementias worldwide.
People can still live well with dementia, and there are ways to help with symptoms. Fun activities, laughter and being active help engage the brain and grow new brain cells, which ultimately helps prevent dementia.
Proper nutrition is also important to keep the body strong and healthy. For a person with dementia, poor nutrition may increase behavioral symptoms and cause weight loss.
The Alzheimer's Association funds studies exploring the influence of exercise, diet, social and mental stimulation.
Risk factors, such as high blood pressure and lack of exercise, usually can be changed to help reduce risk. Scientific research in these areas may lead to new ways to detect those at highest risk.
Regular physical exercise may be a beneficial strategy to lower the risk of vascular dementia. Good exercise choices including walking briskly, dancing, swimming, cycling and even gardening.
A number of studies indicate that maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active as we age might lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's.
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