HOME   >   Useful Info   >   Medical Magazine

Useful Info

Print this page

Medical Magazine

[February 2019] Preventing Senile Dementia with Cognition-Enhancing Lifestyle
Date 02-26-2019 09:47 Hit148
Preventing Senile Dementia with Cognition-Enhancing Lifestyle

Dementia refers to a series of complex symptoms, mostly involving declines in cognitive and mental functions, due to gradual and accumulated brain damage. The majority of afflicted patients are advanced in age. “Senile dementia” refers to dementia that affects seniors aged 65 or older. Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia are the two most common types of senile dementia. Alzheimer’s disease, in particular, accounts for nearly 50% of all senile dementia cases. Vascular dementia accounts for 10–15%, and another 15% or so if patients are burdened with both types.

Medical experts agree that senile dementia can be prevented or delayed in most cases with years of cognition-enhancing habits. Although age, gender (being female), and family history are still significant risk factors, lifestyle changes can reduce the risks of declined physical and cognitive activity, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, and depression.

1. Exercising
Regular exercises are the surest way to prevent or delay the onset of senile dementia by far. Numerous studies have already demonstrated that medium-to-high-intensity exercises, lasting for at least 30 minutes on end each time, done five times a week can reduce the risk of senile dementia by 40%. On the other hand, cardio and muscle-strengthening exercises are all good; more “fun” exercises, such as dances, are even better because they stimulate not only the heart and muscles but the brain as well.

2. Mediterranean diet
This diet is famous for its ability to prevent cardiovascular diseases and brain cell damage. A diet rich in nuts, olive oil (or perilla seed oil for Koreans), fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can certainly help prevent or delay senile dementia. Vitamin B, found in abundance in whole grains like brown rice, barley, and bulgur, increase blood flows to the brain to keep brain cells young. Antioxidant-rich foods, such as blueberries, tomatoes, garlic, and onions, also reduce the risk of the onset of dementia and delay its progression.

3. Weight-watching
Some studies found that being underweight increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 2.38 times in comparison to having normal weight. Lack of nutrition triggers nerve damage and thereby accelerates the onset of senile dementia. Being overweight is equally dangerous. It is crucial to watch one’s weight by sticking to a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

4. Sleeping well
Amyloids, often blamed as the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, is also nicknamed a “trash protein.” Amyloids are best eliminated from the brain when we sleep well. As the amyloid removal process remains at its most active stage between midnight and 8 a.m., so make sure to sleep these hours.

5. Brain stimulation
There are myriad ways to keep the brain stimulated. The best way to prevent this type of dementia and maintain our mental agility is to make sure that all the lobes of our brain are used. Learning a foreign language and solving simple arithmetic problems activate the left hemisphere of the brain. Keeping a daily journal may have the same effect. Drawing and painting, playing musical instruments, and crafts are also great for stimulating the right hemisphere, in charge of emotions and spatial-visual perceptions. Activities involving much manual movement are great for keeping the front part of the brain stimulated. Playing musical instruments and knitting are good hobbies to cultivate. The back of the brain can be reinforced with repeated activities processing visual information such as picture puzzles and mazes.