What Is Dementia, Can Anything Be Done?


Our family has been blessed as we’ve not know dementia.  I’ll make a slight correction to this statement.  My grandmother before she passed at 92 years of age appeared to have had signatures of some form of dementia beginning in her eighties.  Dementia is defined as a cognitive function decline beyond what might be expected as normal aging.  It is a disease that destroys brain function within various centers of the brain by way of many possibilities. Cognitive memory & brain function loss is not solely a cause and effect of Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s is the most common and familiar form of cognitive brain function degradation loss.  This disease becomes more of a risk for those after age 60.   I wrote an earlier article on Alzheimer’s disease with strong ties to aluminum as one of the cause pathologies that put healthy brain function at risk (In Our Health Repository).      

While Alzheimer’s affects approximately 4.5 – 5 million people in the United States by gradually destroying one’s memory; fortunately, current treatment can slow down the progression and destruction of brain functionality dramatically.  Alzheimer’s is also the most common form of dementia and leading cause of death in the United States.  Those once diagnosed have an average mortality rate of 10 years.  However, there are those that beat these statistical mortality averages by living more than 20 years after being diagnosed.   Our younger population is not immune from Alzheimer’s.  Those at greatest risk for developing some form of Dementia are those 65 and older.

Dementia pathology (disease cause, progression and development), impacts the cortical and sub cortical brain function and can manifest its symptoms and disease through known and unknown cause agents.  Nutrition, diet and/or behavioral deficiencies leading to and/or influenced to cause dementia are “lightly” noted within this article.   Key pathologies and nutritional deficiencies that lead to Dementia: Alzheimer’s, Alcohol-Induced Dementia, Frontal Lobe Degeneration, Huntington’s, Hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s, Vitamin B1, B12, Folate Deficiency, Syphilis, Hypoglycemia, AIDS Dementia Complex, Severe Depression, End Stage Renal Failure, Cardiovascular Disease, etc.   It is beyond the scope of this article to list all potential Dementia cause pathologies.  Instead, awareness to possible cause pathologies and recommendations will assist you and your family in prevention, recognition, awareness and immediate attention to treatment.  There is an extensive list of pharmaceuticals that appear to slow down the progression of any one of these cause pathologies leading to dementia.  There is no cure for dementia, prevention is the best course. 

1.  See Geriatric Psychiatrist-Neurologist if patient is forgetful, confused, doesn’t recognize people.
2.  If diagnosed with a form of dementia – Seek medication to slow down the progression.
3.  Dementia Prevention – Live an active mental-physical lifestyle, read books, work puzzles, get involved in community activities, services, volunteer work, etc.,  aerobic daily walking, etc.
4.  Studies show moderate (1-2 Drinks/day) consumption of beer, wine, or distilled spirits may help.
5.  Low blood pressure medications appear to have a dementia health benefit per medical studies.
6.  Mediterranean Diet – Consume plant foods (fruits and Vegetables), olive oil, cheese, yogurt, fish, poultry, no more then 1-4 eggs/week, keep total fat intake at 25%, consume less red meat.
7.  Supplement diet with a quality daily mineral-vitamin and cognitive brain complex supplement (see our Wellness Company Program).

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @ www.mirrorathlete.org,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

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