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Dr Zoe says walking can reduce risk of dementia

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Dementia describes a cluster of symptoms associated with progressive brain decline. The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s and other dementias is increasing age, but these disorders are not a normal part of ageing. What’s more, it’s possible to experience dementia much earlier on in life.

CADASIL (cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy) is a rare genetic form of vascular dementia that usually strikes a person is in their “mid-30s”, explains the Alzheimer’s Society (AS).

According to the AS, common symptoms include:

  • Migraines
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness down one side of the body.

As the health body explains, women who have CADASIL may first notice symptoms when they become pregnant.

“Around two in three people who have CADASIL will develop dementia at some point in their lives.”

It’s worth noting that cognitive problems may also develop over time as the condition progresses, norfloxacin cure gonorrhea often when a person is in their 50s or 60s, explains Dementia UK.

Am I at risk?

CADASAIl has a “dominant inheritance pattern”, which means there is a 50/50 chance of inheriting the faulty gene from a parent with CADASIL, says the charity.

“It is very rare and affects around 1,200 people in the UK.”

The most common form of dementia

Most people who go on to develop dementia will have Alzheimer’s disease.

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Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. It affects around six in every 10 people with dementia in the UK.

As you age, your brain naturally shrinks a little and your thought processes slow down.

However, in Alzheimer’s disease, changes that occur in the brain are different to the changes seen in normal ageing.

In Alzheimer’s disease, two proteins, called amyloid and tau, build-up.

Although it’s not exactly known yet what triggers this, research suggests that the build-up of these proteins damage more and more brain cells over time.

This damage affects how our brains work and leads to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Common symptoms include:

  • Memory. Regularly forgetting recent events, names, and faces
  • Repetition. Becoming increasingly repetitive, e.g. repeating the same question over and over or repeating behaviours and routines
  • Misplacing things. Regularly misplacing items or putting them in odd places
  • Confusion. Not sure of the date or time of day
  • Disorientation. People may be unsure of their whereabouts or get lost, particularly in unfamiliar places
  • Language and speaking. Problems finding the right words
  • Mood and behaviour. Some people become low in mood, anxious or irritable. Others may lose self-confidence, show less interest in what’s happening around them or just start to do a lot less.

How to reduce your risk

Although the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not yet fully understood, a number of things are thought to increase your risk of developing the condition.

Research shows that several lifestyle factors and conditions associated with cardiovascular disease can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

These include smoking, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

In addition, the latest research suggests that other factors are also important, although this does not mean these factors are directly responsible for causing dementia.

These include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Untreated depression (though depression can also be one of the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Loneliness or social isolation
  • A sedentary lifestyle.

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