0212 GMT November 19, 2019
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of diseases affecting the brain, express.co.uk wrote.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type, but vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and frontotemporal dementia closely follow.
Symptoms can include problems with memory loss, thinking speed, mental sharpness and quickness, language, understanding, judgement, movement and general difficulties carrying out daily activities.
But what is the life expectancy once you or a loved one has been diagnose with dementia?
According to Dr. Andrew Thornber, Chief Medical Officer at Now Patient, dementia is a terminal illness that shuts down the brain, and sadly it can kill a person.
He explained, “The actual death of a person with dementia may be caused by another condition.
“People suffering with dementia are likely to be frail toward the end and find it harder to fight off infections and other physical problems due to the progress of dementia.
“In many cases death may be hastened by an acute illness such as pneumonia, or complications such as loss of brain function or a heart attack.”
So what’s the best way to prevent dementia?
Research is still being conducted into how the disease develops and progresses, but eating a well-balanced and healthy diet, taking regular exercise, trying to reduce stress and getting enough sleep, have been shown to reduce risks of getting dementia.
Thornber recommends meditation. He said, “Meditation has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which has been known to increase the risk of developing dementia.
“Just 10 minutes a day of meditation to clear the mind, have been shown to help slow down the ageing rate of the brain.”
Alzheimer’s Society outlines how much exercise you should do and what you should eat to prevent the dementia.
Keep physically active
At least 30 minutes, five times a week is the recommended.
Alzheimer’s Society said, “You’ll need to be active enough to raise your heart rate and get a bit out of breath. You could walk, cycle, swim or join an exercise or dance group. Regular physical exercise in middle-aged or older adults reduces the risk of developing dementia. It’s also good for your heart and mental wellbeing. Exercise like this brings health benefits even if you’re not losing weight.”
Eat a healthy balanced diet
A balanced diet has a number of health benefits including reducing your risk of dementia and heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Alzheimer’s Society said, “A healthy diet has a high proportion of oily fish, fruit, vegetables, unrefined cereals and olive oil, and low levels of red meat and sugar.
“Try to cut down on saturated fat (e.g. cakes, biscuits, most cheeses) and limit sugary treats. Keep an eye on your salt intake too, because salt raises your blood pressure and risk of stroke. Read food labels to see what’s in them and seek out healthier options.”