The Ugly Truth of Dementia: The Thought Causes Behind Mind Deterioration
Dementia, specifically in the form of Alzheimer's, is projected to be on a significant rise in the next 20 years. Still, we only have a very rudimentary understanding of the disease, how it spreads throughout the brain, and the possible causes and origins behind it. Recent research, however, suggests a strong connection between prolonged stressors in life and the onset of Alzheimer's.
Previous evidence has firmly established that the same risk factors for heart disease -- high blood pressure, diabetes, excess weight, high cholesterol and lack of exercise -- may play a role in Alzheimer's.
A growing body of research in recent years suggests that chronic stress could be a significant trigger for many types of dementia, from mild cognitive impairment, to complete dementia. Chronic stress is consistently showing up as a major factor in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Such a stressor could result from a major life change, such as a ongoing illness, injury, or major surgery.
There are a growing number of Clinicians and Scientists who are convinced that excitotoxins and heavy metals play a critical role in the development of several neurological disorders, including migraines, seizures, infections, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders, specific types of obesity, and especially the neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
One major contributing factors in the onset of dementia is the build up of amyloid-beta plaques, otherwise known as brain gunk. These have been observed to build up after increased brain cell activity. People who have increased brain activity during their default mode networks are shown to have a greater chance of developing Alzheimer's disease. High default mode network activity is also linked to daydreaming, depression, and unpleasant thoughts. This evidence points to the real possibility that our thinking patterns actually can shape our risk for dementia later on in life.
Stress in Mice
Mice that were studied were shown to have higher levels of phosphorylated tau protein deposits when subjected to stress over periods of time. The increased levels of the tau protein are in turn found in those with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
The Flip Side
While increased brain activity in the default mode can increase the risk for developing dementia, the flip side of this is also true. Those who reduce the amount of time that default mode is stressed have a higher chance of deteriorating cognitive health. People who take the right steps to reduce the amount of default mode activity may be able to stave off cognitive decline later on.
While this news may be disturbing to some, it can be encouraging to know that there are variables under you control in the sustaining of your cognitive activity. According to a Genie care professional, those with family who have dementia are sure to witness the sad reality of caring for a loved one who can't remember how to use stairs, talk or even walk. But there are a number of activities that can lead to decreased default mode activity, including getting enough sleep, reducing amounts of stress experienced daily, and exercising and eating so as to fight long term depression. When you use your brain in a healthy way you can try to keep your mind from going into deterioration later on.
Vitamin D and Diet
Data from France suggests people with higher intakes of vitamin D may be at a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. The highest average intakes of the sunshine vitamin were associated with a 77% decrease in the risk of Alzheimer's, report researchers in the The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Science.
Many lifestyle factors linked to heart disease also increase your risk of Alzheimer’s, including high blood pressure, smoking and cholesterol levels.
The heart-healthy benefits of the so-called Mediterranean diet are well known, but new research suggests the eating plan may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, too.
People who carefully followed the Mediterranean diet -- heavy on fish, fruits and vegetables, monounsaturated fats such as those found in olive oil, and low on meat and dairy products -- had a 40 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's than those who ate the conventional American diet.
Ensuring optimal intake of key nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants throughout one’s lifetime may be an important wellness strategy to help prevent brain diseases and prevent the decline in our cognitive abilities. Approximately 6-8% of all persons aged 65+ have developed Alzheimer’s disease, and the prevalence of this disease is increasing. The current research lends further support to the use of antioxidants and a vitamin enriched daily dietary supplement program to help support the brain function as we age. This wonderful supplement recipe is a feast for brains in need of restoration, providing the optimum combination to facilitate the transport of vital nutrients into brain cells, and assist in re-establishment of neuronal function. And it’s a healthy snack for an aging brain, as well, giving it all the essentials necessary to support our mood, memory, and cognitive abilities, which tend to slow down as the years pass by.