Risk Factors for Dementia

  1. Snoring – Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – Breathing starts and stops, already linked to high blood pressure and heart disease, may also be tied to poorer cognitive performance and an increased risk of dementia. By treating OSA the risk may be lowered.
  2. Drinking diet soda – Strong evidence shows an increased risk of dementia for those choosing artificially sweetened drinks. There is some indication that those people selecting diet drinks may already be unhealthy.
  3. Low education and hearing loss – Lifestyle modification could prevent one-third of dementia cases, according to a report in the July 2017 journal, The Lancet. Educating and treating for hearing loss in middle age would significantly reduce dementia cases and would cut other risk factors for dementia, including depression and isolation. In general, increasing education could reduce dementia risk by increasing the mind’s resilience to brain damage caused by aging.
  4. Calcium supplements – For those women who already had signs of cerebrovascular disease or already had a stroke, they were seven times more likely to develop dementia by taking calcium supplements, as reported in the journal Neurology, on August 2016.
  5. Dizziness – caused by a drop in blood pressure, can be treated with lifestyle changes such as getting out of bed slowly, drinking enough water and doing exercises, according to the Mayo Clinic. Untreated, the risk of developing dementia is significantly increased.
  6. ADHD – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder carries a risk of developing dementia and mild cognitive impairment later in life, for those who were diagnosed as adults.
  7. Unhealthy heart – There is a connection between the heart and the mind; recent research suggests that keeping your heart healthy may give your brain a boost. Things that can damage blood vessels, including high blood pressure, diabetes and possibly smoking not only increase your risk of heart disease but can also raise your risk of dementia, according to a February 2017 study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference.
  8. Decreased REM sleep – Older adults who spent less time in REM (rapid eye movement) were more likely to develop dementia over a 12-year period than those who got more REM sleep, according to an August 2017 study in the journal Neurology.
  9. Head injuries – Those with a history of head or traumatic brain injury have a 60 percent increased risk of dementia and a 50 percent increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease according to the meta-analysis published in the January 2017 issue of the journal PLOS ONE.

From: www.Livescience.com By Nicole Edison, M.D.


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