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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Barr, DO

5 Ways to Prevent Dementia

Around 50 million people live with dementia worldwide. As the population grows and people are living longer, the number of people with dementia has also been steadily increasing. Dementia is more than just memory loss. More specifically, there is a decline in memory that usually interferes with daily life and activities.

There are many different types of dementia. Alzheimer’s Dementia is the most common, affecting roughly 5 million Americans. It is never too early (and never too late) to talk about dementia prevention.

5 Ways to Prevent Dementia

There are five ways to reduce the risk of dementia. Even just following 4 of these 5 healthy lifestyle choices has been shown to reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s dementia up to 60%.

1. Keep Your Brain Active

The best way to prevent dementia is to learn a new language or a musical instrument. Even reading a book or learning a new skill or hobby keeps the brain active. Keeping your mind active and regularly challenging yourself mentally helps the brain fight and prevent disease. Find something that you enjoy doing that challenges your brain, either alone or with other people. Its important to find something that you’ll enjoy doing regularly. This can even include doing puzzles, crosswords, playing card games or board games.

2. Physical Activity

Don’t just keep your brain active, but keep your body active and moving as well! Exercise at a moderate to vigorous pace for 20-30 minutes a day, or for 150 minutes or more per week.

3. Limit Alcohol Intake

Limit alcohol intake or do not drink at all. For women, this means about 1 drink per day is okay, and for men, no more than 2 drinks per day. One drink is a 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine or 1.5 oz of liquor.

4. Follow a Mediterranean Diet

The fourth way to reduce the risk of dementia is to watch what you eat. What is the best diet for preventing dementia? Studies show that eating a Mediterranean diet is the best. This diet mainly consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and fish. Moderate intake of poultry, beans, and dairy are acceptable on this diet. Sugar intake and red meat are limited.

5. Quit Smoking

And finally, if you smoke, then stop. There are so many health benefits to quitting smoking, including decreasing the risk of cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and dementia.

If you or your loved one is concerned about your memory and seeking more information and/or memory testing, call us at 207-506-0412. We’d love to meet with you!

Dr. Alexandra Barr, DO

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