Factors that can be mitigated
Heavy smoking (a pack per day or more) has been found to cause a 2-3 year earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Smoking has negative effects on the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Excessive intake of alcohol could cause key parts of the brain to suffer damage through vitamin deficiencies such as Vitamin B1 (thiamine).
Studies have shown that high cholesterol intake can significantly increase the risk of developing dementia. Diabetes, if not properly controlled, could also lead to insufficient insulin and therefore excessive glucose levels in your blood. This could then result in cardiovascular problems that contribute to dementia.
Healthy eating would reduce the chances of getting dementia. Experts recommend a diet rich in Vitamin D, folate and B6 and B12 vitamins. Mediterranean diets are also recommended.
Research has shown that treating depression that occurs earlier in old age would reduce the chance of developing dementia later on. The researchers found that high levels of depression prior to a diagnosis are linked to a more drastic decrease in thinking and memory skills later on.
Having an active social life has been found to greatly reduce the possibility of attaining depression in older people. Join community clubs or stay active in the workplace to stimulate the mind and body.
Studies have found that higher levels of physical exercise are associated with less cognitive decline in older people. Do note that one should not over exert oneself when doing physical activities, especially at an advanced age. Taking a stroll outside daily is a good way for elderly folks to get some exercise.