Dementia is a name for a group of brain disorders, whereas one or more of them, including Alzheimer’s destroys brain function within centers of the brain by way of various pathologies. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common brain disorder. It is defined as a cognitive fuction decline beyond what might be expected as normal aging. Dementia is not a specific disease but rather a term for the severity of impairment to remember, think, perform daily tasks, and make everyday decisions.
“The risk of developing Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia appears to be increased by many conditions that damage the heart and blood vessels. These include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”Alzheimer’s Association 2022
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Alzheimer’s most devastating characteristics is the destruction of the brains neural conductors. Whereby memory loss is progressive, then worsens throughout time, causing the inability to communicate, swallow and feed oneself and ultimately shorten lifespan. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and leading cause of death in the United States. Those 60 years and older are at increased risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
“Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink (atrophy) and brain cells to die. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that affects a person’s ability to function independently.”[Mayo Clinic 2022]
Alzheimer’s affects approximately 5.8 million people in the United States by gradually destroying memory cells. Fortunately, current treatment can slow down the progression and destruction of brain function significantly and decrease the chance of becoming a dementia statistic. Once diagnosed with Alzheimer’s the average mortality rate is 10 years. However, there are many who beat these averages and live more than 20 years after diagnosis. The younger population is not immune from Alzheimer’s. Those at greatest risk for developing some forms of Dementia are 65 and older. “Out of the ~50 million people worldwide with dementia, between 60-70% are estimated to have Alzheimer’s disease [Mayo Clinic 2022].
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Dementia pathology (disease cause, progression and development), impacts the cortical and sub cortical brain function and can manifest its symptoms and progressive disease through known and unknown cause agents. Nutrition, diet and/or behavioral deficiencies known to influence and lead toward the development of a severe brain disorder:
Key pathologies and nutritional deficiencies that lead to Dementia. Alzheimer’s Alcohol-Induced Dementia, Frontal Lobe Degeneration, Huntington’s, Hypothyroidism, Parkinsons, Vitamin B1, B12, Folate Deficiency, Syphilis, Hypoglycemia, AIDS Dementia Complex, Severe Depression, End Stage Renal Failure, Cardiovascular Disease, etc.
Another factor that could increase risk to Alzheimer's include genetics.
- To decrease odds of Alzheimer’s, especially if genetically predisposed [someone in the family has/had Alzheimer’s], make healthy lifestyle choices which include: Maintain healthy diet and body weight, avoid excess alcohol consumption and avoid smoking. Exercise daily and avoid unnecessary stressors. Also look to nurture positive relationships and socialize in healthy environments. These are the best medicines to ward off brain disorders.
“There is a great deal of interest, … in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity.”National Institute on Aging 2022
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Awareness to possible cause pathologies, signs and symptoms and treatment options will assist greatly in the prevention of cognitive decline and brain disorder(s). There is an extensive list of pharmaceuticals that appear to slow down the progression of any one of the cause pathologies leading to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Talk to your Geriatric and/or Psychiatrist-Neurologist to learn more about a treatment protocol for you, or a loved one. 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 dementia disorder 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, daily walks aerobic exercise, etc.
4. Studies show moderate (1-2 Drinks/day) consumption of beer, wine, or distilled spirits may help. “A recent meta-analysis of observational studies concluded that light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, whereas both abstinence and heavy drinking are associated with a higher risk of dementia” [Google Search 2022]
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.
Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2022 Copyright. All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @ www.mirrorathlete.org.