Neurologists are the medical specialists best suited for preventing dementia. A recent edition of the Journal of Neurology included a study that analyzed data from 501,376 people from the United Kingdom’s “Biobank,” average age 56 years. During this 10-plus-year study, 5,185 were diagnosed with dementia. By analyzing the lifestyle of those who did and did not get dementia, the scientists concluded:
Exercising regularly lowered the risk of dementia by 35%. This includes walking. The best place for elders to walk is in a mall – no cars, bicycles, dogs, unpleasant weather, or uneven walking surface, and malls have restrooms. The Harvard School of Public Health, hsph.harvard.edu, cited a study following 4,840 men and women 40 years old and older for about 10 years. It found those taking at least 8,000 steps daily had a 51% lower death rate from all causes than those who take only 4,000 steps a day or fewer. An inexpensive pedometer worn on your clothing, maybe a stocking, will count your steps for you. Put it on when you get up in the morning and leave it on until you go to bed at night.
Household chores lowered the risk of dementia by 22%. This is in addition to the percent for exercise. This is about scrubbing toilets, dusting, doing dishes, etc.
Visiting with family and friends lowered the risk of dementia by 15%. A group of women in California who got together in 1968 to share tales of their arthritic fingers came up with the slogan, “Getting old ain’t for sissies.” This was reported in the Readers Digest in April 1968 by Ruth S. Hain. It is easy for elders to relate to this, because many of us have an intimate relationship with pain. Still, very many of us believe these are the best times of life.
Here are some tips to help elders love and enjoy these precious years:
• When you remove your blouse or shirt, leave all the buttons fastened except the top two. Slip the blouse or shirt over your head, and leave it like that when you do your laundry. You will have a closet with clean blouses or shirts. Just make your choice and slip it on over your head.
• Make sure your spouse or other beneficiaries know where your money is.
• Give a relative power of attorney if trusted friends say it’s time.
• Examine your drinking cups to know they aren’t cracked and leaching lead. Lead poisoning can be similar to dementia.
• Smiling is good for you even if you have to force the smile.
• On page 125 of the “CBD Bible,” the author discusses Huperzine A, which is extracted from club moss. It can be used to prevent, even reverse, impairment from dementia. Small, preliminary studies have also been effective in enhancing cognition in Alzheimer’s patients. Other sources such as Yang et. al. in “A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Tests” indicate a significant benefit on the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) at eight weeks and again at 12 weeks. Huperzine A was classified as a dietary supplement by the FDA in 1997. Recommended dosage is between 200 and 500 mcg per day. Improvements in memory and learning may be noticed after one month. Stop using it after six months.