As our population ages, more and more people in Canada and the United States are going to be affected by dementia and alzheimer's. The question that has to be asked is, "..is there something that we can do to help prevent it or at least delay its arrival?"
Given how fast the average age of Americans (Canadians) is rising and how much the risk of dementia leaps with advancing years, finding anything that delays cognitive decline, even a little, would be an enormous value.
Marilyn Albert, director of cognitive neuroscience as John Hopkins University has conducted studies on 'what maintains good brain health.' In light of our aging population and the senility trend that is taking place, it should come as no surprise, that people like Marilyn and others, are looking for links between lifestyle and a healthier brain.
Researchers such as Marilyn have discovered that one of the top ways to take care of your mind, it turns out, is to make sure your cardiovascular system is performing well (and there's nothing like physical activity to promote good cardio health). In fact, all other things being equal, people who engage in a wide variety of physical activities—like walking and biking and dancing and swimming—seem to be better protected against cognitive decline than those who don't.
Another area to prevent cognitive decline is healthy eating. Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, consume fish once or twice a week. Cutting down on the amount of trans and saturated fat in your diet can also delay the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's..
Another area to prevent cognitive decline is mental stimulation. Several studies have found that people who regularly engage in mentally challenging activities—like reading, doing crossword puzzles or playing chess—seem less likely to develop dementia later in life.
Finally, a healthy mind means good overall health. If you smoke quite, get your cholesterol levels and blood pressure checked regularly, If you have diabetes, do everything you can to keep it under control.
As we age, a healthy brain needs both physical exercise and mental stimulation The two go hand in hand. A healthy body contributes to a healthy mind. When both are in sync the rewards to your cognitive health is invaluable.
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"Staying Sharp: Can You Prevent Alzheimer's Disease?" (Time Magazine, January 8, 2006)
"Healthy Aging: Keeping Mentally Fit As You Age." http://www.gmhfonline.org/gmhf/consumer/factsheets/hlthage_mental.html