According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 55 million people throughout the world are living with dementia. Conditions like Alzheimer’s disease include dementia as a symptom, causing an individual to lose their memory and cognitive function. Data from the WHO suggests dementia costs families $1.3 trillion per year.
Dementia includes conditions like:
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Lewy Body dementia
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Huntington’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Korsakoff syndrome
Medical researchers have identified genetics as a possible risk factor for dementia, while other causes include stroke and brain injury. Dementia is a progressive condition, meaning a person will gradually lose his or her memory, cognitive function, and physical ability. Once a person has Alzheimer’s disease, their treatment plan will focus on improving their safety and quality of life, as the condition cannot be reversed.
The WHO has released new data suggesting a troubling rise in cases of dementia worldwide, projecting an increase to 78 million people in 2030 and 139 million people by 2050.
Why is dementia a growing concern?
Along with dementia in individuals age 65 and over, cases of early onset dementia are on the rise. If a person is under the age of 65 when they are diagnosed with dementia, the condition is considered ‘early onset.’
Some memory loss and cognitive trouble are common with age, but studies suggests the high carbohydrate load featured in the typical American diet may increase a person’s chances of developing early onset dementia.
Early onset dementia cases have been rising for the last decade in America, with a 200% increase in diagnosed cases for patients aged 30 to 64 -- the average age of someone diagnosed in this study was 49.
While genetics play a role in a person’s chances of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, other studies suggest a person’s lifestyle and environment play an equally -- if not larger -- role in their chances of developing dementia.
Early onset dementia may be caused by metabolic dysfunction or autoimmunity. A person’s sugar balance, insulin sensitivity, and digestive function can impact his or her chances of developing dementia. Autoimmunity issues cause systemic inflammation in the body, attacking parts of the brain necessary for healthy function.
Fortunately, maintaining healthy dietary habits could have an impact on a person’s chances of developing dementia. Consider:
- Eating more food with high concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids to promote brain health
- Eating green vegetables for their high concentrations of lutein, a compound shown to support cognitive function
- Maintaining a healthy blood sugar balance
- Exercising regularly
- Getting ample vitamin D
- Limiting your sugar intake
- Taking vitamin B12 supplements
- Taking Magnesium supplements, to activate your vitamin D intake
At Pacifica Senior Living, we understand the unique challenges a person navigates while living with memory loss. We offer a customized, personal approach to memory care that puts resident’s at the center of their routine. To learn more about or memory care program, please chat with us below -- we offer free tours of our communities for a firsthand look at the beautiful apartment homes we offer in our memory care homes.
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