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Saving Your Brain: How to Prevent Dementia

By: Camila Cal, SeniorLivingGuide.com

 Did you know that there are ways to prevent dementia? SeniorLivingGuide.com Podcast hosted Dr. Mitchell Clionsky, a board-certified neuropsychologist who specializes in evaluating and treating patients with cognitive impairment, dementia, ADHD, and traumatic brain injury. Dr. Clionsky shared insight on how we can all work on saving our brains every day!

First of all, it’s important to know that there isn’t one easy solution. Rather, there are a variety of things that we can do that will reduce the risk of dementia. Each particular case of dementia is different, just as people’s health varies.

Tips:

  • High blood pressure is a problem when it comes to general health, but because it interferes with the flow of blood, it can also be a basis for vascular dementia. Improving your high blood pressure whether via medication or lifestyle changes can make a big difference.
  • Focus on physical wellbeing by spending less time being sedentary. There is no substitute for exercise and movement, both of which are critical for brain health. Dr. Clionsky recommended the 10/3 formula. Take a 10-minute walk, 3 times a day. Here’s why it works: You aren’t too busy to take a 10-minute break every few Podcast Banner 300x250hours, you’re unlikely to hurt yourself, you’re not going to need a gym membership or special equipment, etc. Before you know it, you’ll be doing 210 minutes of exercise per week! And just like that, you’ll be maintaining your weight, reducing your chances of type 2 diabetes, and helping your brain health.
  • Take care of your sleep routine! How you’re breathing while sleeping has a huge impact. If you’re not breathing properly, you could have sleep apnea. According to Dr. Clionsky, there have been studies that tested over 6,000 adults in 7 places in the U.S. and found that half of them had sleep apnea causing bad memory, decline in energy, reduced sex ability, and more. The best way to know if you may be suffering from sleeping complications is to talk to your doctor about ways to test your sleep and upload your info for experts to analyze.
  • Remember dealing with dementia is an inter-related process that concerns more than one part of the body, often involving cardiology, endocrinology, pulmonary medicine, alcohol/substance abuse, kinesiology, etc. Taking mindful care of all parts of the body, ultimately may help with preventing dementia.

For more information on how you can prevent dementia, check out Dr. Clionsky’s book, “Dementia Prevention: Using Your Head to Save Your Brain.” Additionally, he offers a free downloadable dementia prevention checklist, where people can self-assess the areas where their behaviors are on, off, or near target that they can then share with their doctor. It’s a great resource for showing seniors their strong/weak points and serves as an additional potential game plan for making lifestyle changes that may decrease the chances of getting dementia.

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