The current global and UK stats on dementia and cognitive decline are quite something
850,000 people in the UK are estimated to be living with Dementia.
24.6 Million People in the UK that’s 38% of the population know a family member or close friend living with dementia.
1 in 3 people born in the UK this year will develop dementia in their lifetime.
1 in 14 people over 65 have dementia in the UK and 1 in 79 of the whole population.
The dementias are now the leading cause of death in the UK and the projected increase of dementias by 2030 is that it will increase by 40% from now to 2030.
So what are we going to do about it? Can lifestyle and nutrition interventions prevent/slowdown cognitive decline? YES!!!!!
By following some of these called the Blue zones Power 9 what makes people live longer and healthier.
1 Move Naturally
Make daily physical activity an unavoidable part of your environment.
2 Have THE right outlook
Know your purpose and downshift i.e. work less, slow down and take holidays.
3 Eat wisely
Eat until 80% full, eat more veggies, less red meat and less processed foods, drink a glass of red wine daily just 1 though !!!!
Create a healthy social network, prioritise family and connect with your beliefs.
Key elements that support brain health
Rest and calm
Less environmental toxins
Movement and exercise
Love community connection and faith
Mild cognitive impairment includes
Words on tip of your lounge
Going in to a room and forgetting why you went in there
Increasing difficulty communicating
Increasing difficulty with basic life skills i.e. dressing, cooking and eating
Worsening symptoms over time leading to death.
Different types of dementia, it is not one thing they include
Vascular dementia 17%
Mixed dementia 10%
Dementia with Lewy bodies 4%
Parkinson’s disease 2%
Others like MS, CJD
Foods you should eat THE MIND DIET Mediterranean –Dash intervention for neurodegenerative Delay. The mind diet aims to reduce dementia and the decline in the brain health that occurs as people get older; it combines aspects of two very popular diets, the Mediterranean and the dietary approaches to stop hypertension DASH.
Green leafy vegetables
Foods to avoid
Butter and margarine
Fried and fast foods
Neuroplasticity and neurogenesis
The brains ability to recognise itself by forming new neural connections throughout life, it allows the neurons in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.
Is a process of generating functional neurons from adult neural precursors, occurs throughout life in restricted brain regions in mammals. Response to new situations or to changes in their environment. It appears we are able to teach old dog new tricks and have the capacity to create new neurons, habits and learn new information for all our lives.
Factors that increase and improve cognitive health, neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis
Novelty and new stimulus – neurogenic
Touch via a trusted person as it stimulates production of Oxytocin
Rest/sleep minus blue light
Less stress- cortisol damages the hippocampus (the new brain cell factory)
Meditation and breath work, a calm brain is more functional
Supportive nutrition an anti-inflammatory diet
Community, love/ social support
Movement/ exercise increasing blood flow to the brain
Learning a new language
Factors that improve and increase cognitive health and neurogenesis.
Playing board game
Less sugar beta amyloid plaques = Alzheimer’s= Diabetes type 111 and age
Less multi-tasking it actually reduces efficiency
Less environmental toxins
Pets – brain calming and encourage exercise
Being in nature- calming and less rumination
Enriched environments promotes brain activity
BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) can be increased with exercise.
What we can do right now to help our
Lessen environmental toxins
Include brain challenges in to exercise sessions
Improve gut health
Improve oral health
Act now before they are symptomatic