eleven healthy habits to prevent them

Neurodegenerative diseases begin silently decades before producing any of the symptoms that cause the person to lose abilities. The good news is that a healthy lifestyle helps prevent them

Dementia: eleven healthy habits to prevent them


Prototype of a robot for Alzheimer’s patients PHOTO EFE/Wojciech Pacewicz

The WHO estimates that more than 55 million people (8.1% of women and 5.4% of men over 65) live with dementia.

It is estimated that this number will increase to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050.

Despite the data, the WHO considers that the world is not addressing the challenge posed by dementias or acting adequately to prevent them.

Specifically, they exist in Spain 1,200,000 people affected by dementia.

In order to reduce the risk of suffering from it, the Spanish Alzheimer’s Confederation (CEAFA) remembers the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle throughout life, and controlling risk factors as prevention to reduce cases of dementia.

“Although some of the risk factors, such as genetics or age, are out of our control, prevention is useful in all phases of the disease, for this reason, it must be emphasized that a healthy diet, exercise and mental activity are factors that allow improving brain function and slowing down cognitive deterioration

Spanish Alzheimer’s Confederation

It is important to note that dementia affects memory, thinking, orientation, understanding, calculation, learning ability, language and judgment.

Impairment of cognitive function is usually accompanied, and sometimes preceded, by impairment of emotional control, social behavior or motivation.

Dementia: eleven healthy habits to prevent them

Thus, from the mentioned Confederation, they propose eleven healthy habits to prevent dementia:

1.- Healthy lifestyle. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains will provide the necessary amount of antioxidants to counteract the effect that free radicals have on neurons and the general aging process.

Likewise, Omega-3 fatty acids, present in different types of fish, have a protective function against dementia.

Also, it is important to stay hydrated as water is the vehicle for most vital functions.

2.- Perform physical activity. Exercise and physical activity help improve cognitive function.

Walking for half an hour a day at a brisk pace is enough to fulfill this goal, even if it is started at an advanced age. Exercise also helps combat stress.

3.- To sleep. In addition, rest is a fundamental part of the neurological system. Sleep is necessary for the nervous system to function properly as it promotes neural connections.

4.-Intellectual activity increases brain connectivity. In this way, it is important to stimulate the brain through different methods such as reading, solving hobbies, doing puzzles, playing board games, listening to music or any other mental exercise that helps increase neural connections and strengthen neurons , which improves cognitive function and slows down its possible deterioration over the years.

5.- no smoking. Smoking is one of the factors that significantly increases the possibility of suffering cognitive impairment.

Regular exposure to secondhand smoke also increases the risk of heart disease.

6.- Moderate alcohol consumption. In the same way, it is advisable to avoid the consumption of alcohol.

CEAFA infographic

7.- Social Relations. For the maintenance of brain functions, it is important to have significant social activity, as it has been shown that older people who socialize more have less cognitive impairment and, therefore, less risk of dementia.

8.- Self-medicate It poses health risks that in most cases are unknown.

9.- mental health It mediates relationships with the environment, the perception of personal value and the capacity for self-care.

10.- oral health Oral conditions can lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

11.- Medical reviews for people with dementia it is a preventive measure to find health problems before they develop.

For the Confederation, prevention requires that it also be done by public institutions through early diagnosis and personalized health programs.

“The prevention of dementia is fundamental and something that needs to be worked on, especially in high-risk groups. Making people aware of healthy lifestyle habits and the risk factors that can condition them to suffer from this disease is part of the prevention work”, they conclude from CEAFA.

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