We seem to be hearing more and more about dementia every day.  People I talk to lately know someone who has dementia or has a family member affected by this disease. So I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look and do a bit of research. I was amazed by what I found and thought I would share this information with you.

There are many types of dementia. The effects of different types of dementia are similar, but not identical, as each one tends to affect different parts of the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia accounting for between 50% and 70% of all dementias.

National Facts and Figures 2012

  • Almost 280,000 Australians currently live with dementia
  • Without a significant medical breakthrough, that is expected to soar to almost 1 million by 2050
  • Each week, there are 1,600 new cases of dementia in Australia.
  • The cost of replacing all family carers with paid carers is estimated at $5.5 billion per annum
  • Dementia is already the single greatest cause of disability in older Australians (aged 65 years or older)
  • 1 in 25 people over the age of 60 have a form of dementia, but only 50% of those are properly diagnosed.

Physical Exercise

Physical exercise is essential for maintaining good blood flow to the brain and may encourage new brain cell growth and survival. Exercise strengthens the pumping force of your heart, increases blood flow to your brain, reduces body weight, lowers blood pressure, reduces bad cholestrol (both LDL and total), increases good cholesterol (HDL), and increases insulin sensitivity. This will enhance general health, as well as reduce the risk of diseases that can affect blood flow to the brain such as cardiovascular conditions.

Mental Exercise

Brainy App is available free from the Apple Store and can be downloaded to iphone, ipad and ipods. This app has several simple yet effective exercises for the brain. Learning something new really helps.

Diet

Include foods with the right type of fats and those with high nutrient and anti-oxidant levels. Good examples include:

Salmon: The healthy fats found in salmon are the same fats found in your brain. These omega-3 fatty acids are believed to be critical to the proper development and functioning of your brain.

Egg Yolks: Eggs yolks are rich in Vitamin E and B Vitamins.  B Vitamins may help prevent inflammation and aid in new brain cell development.

Almonds and Brazil nuts: Like fatty fish, almonds are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, but they are also rich in antioxidants, including Vitamin E.

Blueberries: Both frozen and fresh blueberries are excellent brain foods extremely high in antioxidants.

Dark Green Vegetables: Research suggests the darker the color of the vegetables (like dark green broccoli and spinach), the higher the concentration of protective antioxidants. Choose dark and diverse coloured veggies to cover your bases.

Tea and Coffee: The theory is that caffeine’s stimulating effect increases activity in the brain, blocking the development of proteins associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Green teas are also very rich in antioxidants. Recommendation: 2 cups per day.

Supplements

Daily is Omega 3 is most important.  Krill oil has been found to be 6 times stronger than any other fish oils. My father who is 73yrs old has been taking Krill oil for 3 months and now has lower cholesterol levels. Even lower than when he was on cholesterol medication. The family also hope that this will help with his memory…..

In summary, if you want to prevent dementia, eat healthy foods, exercise and keeping the brain active by learning new skills.

Want to know more? Visit:

www.mindyourmind.org.au

www.fightdementia.org.au

By Lucy Corradi