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This is what you can do to reduce the risk of dementia

You may be more familiar with the steps to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, or cancer by dieting, exercising regularly, and stopping smoking. However, when talking about dementia (including dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease), not many know how to prevent it. According to the study results, there is one way you can do to reduce the risk of dementia later on.

An aging population results in a growing number of people living with dementia (a term that includes some symptoms such as memory impairment, confusion, and loss of ability to perform daily activities).

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and results in progressive brain health retardation.

In Australia, 425,000 people have dementia, which is the second leading cause of death, and number one for women.


The main risk of dementia in old age. About 30 percent of people aged over 85 in Australia live with dementia. In addition, genetic or hereditary factors also contribute to early disease but are stronger in the less common type of dementia, such as early Alzheimer's disease (which strikes at a young age).

Dementia is actually not a disease, but a collection of symptoms related to memory loss, thinking ability, and social interactions that greatly interfere with the quality of life and daily functions.

Dementia that is not handled properly can cause a number of complications, including:

  • Lack of nutrition. This condition usually occurs because the patient forgets the time to eat or thinks he has eaten. In addition, severe dementia or senility causes the sufferer to lose control over the muscles used for chewing and swallowing.
  • Decreased hygiene. In cases of moderate to severe dementia, patients can lose their ability to carry out their daily tasks independently. As a result, their body hygiene also becomes less awake.
  • Difficulty taking medicine. This happens because of the decreased ability of the patient to remember.
  • Setbacks in emotional health. Dementia can change behavior and personality. Some of these changes are caused by impaired brain function. Dementia can cause depression, aggression, confusion, frustration, anxiety, and disorientation.
  • Difficulty communicating. Patients usually lose the ability to remember the names of people or objects, as well as problems in communicating with others.

If you do not want to experience the various complications mentioned above, the most effective way is to prevent, not cure (and regret). Launched from the TIME page, based on the results of a study there is one way you can do to reduce the risk of future dementia.

Does blood pressure affect the risk of dementia?

Based on presentations at the Alzheimer's Association annual meeting in Chicago, United States (US), the researchers reported some evidence relating to a reduced risk of dementia, namely by lowering blood pressure. The study looked at how to control or lower blood can prevent heart disease. In addition, the researchers also found that low blood pressure was associated with a lower risk of dementia.

In fact, this study continued the previous research, namely SPRINT Memory and Cognition in Decreased Hypertension (SPRINT-MIND). This study studied 9,300 elderly participants who had heart problems or were at high risk of developing heart disease, randomly assigned to lower blood pressure to less than 120 mmHg or 140 mmHg systolic.

Those who succeed in lowering blood pressure to below 120 mmHg have a reduced risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) which is the "entrance gate" of dementia, or the likelihood of dementia 15 percent lower than those who lower their blood pressure to 140 mmHg.

"Controlling blood pressure is not only good for the heart but also good for the brain. This is the first intervention of all types that have been proven in randomized controlled trials to reduce the risk of developing MCI," said Dr. Jeff Williamson, head of geriatric medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, USA, as well as one of the research team.

Another study published in the journal "Neurology" also supports the idea that controlling blood pressure can affect the risk of dementia. Through the study, researchers at Rush's Alzheimer's Disease Center, USA, found that people with high blood pressure tend to have more brain lesions or areas of brain tissue that die from losing their blood supply. This is the main characteristic of Alzheimer's.

Prevent the risk of developing dementia this way

Some diseases that increase the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol also increase the risk of dementia. You can prevent it by:

  • Expand to eat fruits and vegetables and whole grains that are high in fiber and low in sugar. Limit consumption of high-saturated fatty foods such as ready-to-eat food products, fatty red meat, coconut milk, full cream milk, and foods containing trans-fatty acids (for example pastries, crackers, etc.).
  • Salt intake of no more than 6 grams in a day or 1¼ teaspoon.
  • Limit consumption of simple sugars (sugar, food or packaged beverages and ready to eat), not more than 25 grams or 6 teaspoons per day.
  • Maintain a normal weight by paying attention to calorie intake and exercising regularly. Exercise makes the heart and blood vessel circulation more efficient, can reduce blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and increase levels of good cholesterol.
  • The frequency of exercise is recommended at least 150 minutes per week, in the form of moderate-intensity aerobic activities such as cycling, swimming, or brisk walking.
  • Limit alcohol consumption by 2 units for women and 3 units for men. One unit of alcohol is equivalent to 250-275 mL of standard beer, 175 mL of red wine, or 25 mL of vodka/whiskey/ gin.
  • Quit smoking.


Basically, everyone is at risk of dementia because of age. However, by applying the prevention tips mentioned above, you can have a cognitive reserve, which is strengthening the brain's neural network so that cognitive function remains good despite the damage. For the sake of old age that remains healthy, keep your blood pressure always stable by implementing a healthy lifestyle.


Lasy Update Aug 22, 2019.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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