We still have a lot to learn about dementia, its causes, and potential treatments. While there is no single cause we can pin dementia down to, experts have identified a number of factors that could contribute to the onset of dementia.
Here are some of the key factors that are currently thought to contribute toward dementia…
It is likely that dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease have a genetic component. If a parent or someone else in your bloodline had dementia, this is not a guarantee that you will also get it, but it does increase your chances.
While young adults can develop dementia, the risks of developing it increase as we age. According to Alzheimer’s Association, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every 5 years after the age of 65.
Heavy and prolonged alcohol use has been associated with a higher incidence of dementia. This may be because it impairs your brain and cognitive function. However, light or moderate drinking does not appear to be a risk factor.
Foods containing “bad” cholesterol, when eaten in excess, can lead to a build-up of plaque inside your arteries. This condition is known as atherosclerosis and reduces the flow of blood and, therefore, oxygen to your brain. This condition is associated with an increased risk of dementia.
Smoking has a number of negative effects on your health, including being a risk factor for dementia. Smoking increases your chances of having a stroke, developing atherosclerosis, along with other conditions that are though to add to your risk of dementia.
Cognitive stimulation keeps our neurons firing and our brains healthy, so it is thought to fight the effects of dementia. When seniors isolate themselves and experience loneliness and depression, the chances of developing dementia increase. Social activity helps to keep the brain active and stimulated.
Severe or frequent head injuries and concussions can damage the brain in a way that contributes toward the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
While you can’t control all risk factors for dementia, there are certain things you can do to reduce your risks of getting it. Quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, wearing a helmet during contact sports, and staying both mentally and physically active are all changes that are worth making.
If you need support with managing the symptoms of dementia or caring for a loved one who has dementia, then contact Brookstone of Clemmons for more information about our memory care and assisted living services in Clemmons, NC.