The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are subtle and easy to miss, making it difficult to spot warning signs of cognitive decline. (For example, did you know that depression can be an early symptom of dementia?) Plus, some of our common daily habits can have a big impact on brain health. there is.
According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, more than 10 million new cases of dementia are diagnosed each year worldwide. That’s about 1 him to 3 seconds. And since there is no cure for dementia, at this time he believes the best way to combat ADRD is through lifestyle choices that help reduce risk.
Not sure where to start? Read on for six common habits that might not seem related to brain health.
Read this: Dementia risk doubles, says new study.
Talking, listening, laughing, confiding…these are not only good for your social life, but they also affect your overall health, including your brain health.
“Staying socially involved may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in old age. Maintaining a strong network of family and friends is very important,” he advises. Verna R. Porter“Social connections can also be made through volunteer organizations, participation in various clubs and social groups, taking group classes (such as gyms and community colleges), and community involvement (such as going to the movies and parks),” Porter said. may be enhanced., museums, and other public places).”
neglect oral hygiene
The next time you think about skipping your nightly floss and brush routine, think again. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly is an easy way to keep your brain healthy. “Studies suggest that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease are also linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, particularly vascular dementia,” said the National Institute on Aging (NIA). reporting.
Of course, that’s not the only reason to make brushing and flossing a routine. “Dental and oral health are an integral part of overall health and well-being,” says Healthline. “Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, and is also linked to heart disease, cancer and diabetes.”
Physically and mentally sedentary
Vernon WilliamsA sports neurologist and director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at the Cedars Sinai Karlan Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, California, said, “Information about ‘brain exercises’ to strengthen nerve function. There are many. brain performance. ”
Learning something new and challenging yourself with crossword puzzles and other brain teasers is certainly good for your cognitive health. However, “many people may not realize that actual exercise, especially one designed to build lean muscle mass, can have a significant positive impact on a person’s quality of life.” I can’t.
Think you need an expensive gym membership or personal trainer? Think again. According to his January 2022 study published in , you can reap the benefits of exercise in as little as 20 minutes a day. Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
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Tobacco smoking is detrimental to health in a myriad of ways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of “cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis,” surges. as “Immune system problems, including tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis.”
Furthermore, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Smoking increases the risk of vascular disorders such as stroke and cerebral hemorrhage, which are also risk factors for dementia.” will cause,” it reports. Both are cells that have been implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. ”
Lack of sleep
“If you want to improve your brain health, you shouldn’t sacrifice sleep,” warns Williams. “Study after study shows that even reducing sleep by an hour or two each night for several consecutive days can have longer-lasting effects on the brain than disrupted rest for several days.”
Williams warns that lack of sleep “can be dangerous while driving or at work” and can lead to depression. There are plenty of tips and tricks to improve your sleep, including implementing a bedtime routine and making your bed in the morning.
“Make your brain health a priority by prioritizing sleep,” urges Williams.
Drinking alcohol is another habit that can have long-term negative effects on brain health. The American Addiction Center points out that alcohol consumption can lead to accidents such as falls, which can lead to head injuries.
“People who drink heavily or heavily drink are more likely than nondrinkers to develop dementia and are more likely to be diagnosed early,” the site said. It increases the risk of developing Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome,” added (WKS)… a condition that shares certain symptoms with dementia.”