Population aging is a widespread phenomenon worldwide. The physical function and cognitive ability of the elderly gradually decrease with age, and the speed of the brain’s processing of information also slows down, resulting in the decline of cognitive function and affecting the ability to independently perform daily life function.
Do you know what are the signs of cognitive impairment?
What is cognitive decline/cognitive impairment?
Cognitive decline/cognitive impairment is a decline in brain function due to neuronal cell disease/aging, and the patient’s ability to remember, understand, language, learn, calculate, and the judge will be affected.
According to research, about 9% of elderly people over the age of 65 suffer from cognitive impairment/cognitive decline. Among them, the prevalence of men is about 9%, and that of women is about 15%.
How to distinguish the difference between normal cognitive decline and dementia related to aging?
Normal aging decline mainly includes changes in memory and slowdown of information processing, which are usually not very obvious deteriorating and basically do not affect daily functions.
However, there is a period between normal aging and dementia that is mild cognitive dysfunction, although patients with mild cognitive dysfunction (MCI) may be less affected in daily life. But patients with mild cognitive impairment will also increase their risk of developing dementia in the future.
What are the signs of cognitive impairment/cognitive decline?
Cognitive decline/cognitive impairment may be caused by aging, or it may not evolve into dementia, but it may also be caused indirectly by other physical and mental chronic diseases, such as depression, anxiety, chronic kidney disease, or long-term Diabetes, etc.
In addition, some studies have found that some people in the cognitive decline/cognitive impairment group have early brain gray matter volume reduction, brain metabolism decline, and starch-like deposition.
These are symptoms of dementia, so long-term tracking is required.
- Recently, memory has declined, and thinking ability has decreased.
- Emotional instability, irritability, anxiety, life needs family assistance.
- Unrecognizable people, incontinence, slow speech and understanding, and loss of self-care ability.
When the elderly in the family begin to have cognitive decline (such as memory and attention), they should go to the doctor to diagnose these physical and mental related chronic diseases.
Once an elderly person over 65 years old finds out that he has the following six major symptoms/precursors, the risk of cognitive decline/cognitive disturbances developing into dementia will increase in the future, which requires special attention and regular observation:
- There is a family history of Alzheimer’s dementia
- There is a slight behavior disorder
- Behaving slowly
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Various mild psychotic symptoms
To prevent cognitive decline/cognitive impairment and dementia, what can be eaten by diet/health food intake?
Vegetables and fruits provide important nutrients, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and rich fiber content to the human body, and some types of fruits and vegetables are also particularly beneficial to the functioning of the strong brain. The following introduces several vegetables and fruits that are beneficial to the brain:
- black currant
- Fatty fish
- Health food (folic acid, fish oil/algal oil, group B)
The berries are rich in plant pigments and flavonoids. Its own antioxidants (vitamin C, polyphenols, flavonoids, etc.) have a great effect on anti-aging and anti-free radicals. Foreign studies have found that women who regularly consume berries have cognitive decline The ratio is lower.
In addition, there are related studies confirming that blueberries can strengthen learning ability and exercise ability.
Another brain-rich fruit rich in natural pigments is tomato. The rich antioxidant contained in tomatoes is lycopene, which can resist the destruction of cells by free radicals. The folic acid-rich in tomatoes also helps to maintain the normal functioning of the nervous system and eliminate emotional anxiety and anxiety, prevent mental problems, and magnesium is also important to stabilize emotions.
The diallyl trisulfide component contained in garlic and onion can prevent the hippocampus from deteriorating in the brain and is very helpful for preventing cognitive decline/cognitive impairment and dementia.
The brain’s energy source mainly depends on the glucose, so ingesting enough vitamins B1 and B2 to help sugar metabolism is very important for the normal function of the brain.
Homocysteine (Hcy) causes increased intracellular oxidative stress and is considered to be one of the risk factors for vascular disease. When vitamin B12, B6, and folic acid are deficient, it will cause the concentration of homocysteine in the blood Rise, while increasing the oxidative stress of the cell.
Therefore, sufficient supplementation of vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, and folic acid is very important for the maintenance of brain memory.
The fish oil/algae oil is also rich in DHA, EPA, and Omega-3 fatty acids. DHA is an important component of the cell and cell surface membrane layer.
DHA has both the function of the cerebral cortex and the maintenance of memory.
On the other hand, Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can reduce cell damage caused by inflammation.
Studies have shown that the higher the concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, the greater the ability to improve memory.
In daily life, in addition to the intake of Group B/folic acid health foods, you can also eat more broccoli, spinach, seaweed, edamame and strawberries rich in folic acid in your diet.
In addition to the intake of healthy foods related to fish oil/algae oil, the daily diet can also intake fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, and cod.
There are several rules for the selection of health foods:
- Natural extraction sources are superior to chemical synthesis
- Multiply with compound effect
- The dosage form of capsules is better than tablets
- Selecting brands that use patented raw materials is more secure
- SGS inspection is the most reliable (Western medicine, heavy metal)
How to improve cognitive decline/cognitive impairment and prevent dementia?
Get enough sleep.
Sleep is one of the strongest weapons against Alzheimer’s disease. But in today’s society, sleeping only a few hours a day or staying up late has gradually become the norm.
Sleep affects cognition through the following mechanisms:
Getting enough sleep can clear the brain of toxins. The gap between brain cells is called the extracellular space, which expands during sleep, allowing more calcium and magnesium ions to flow through.
During sleep, brain cells will recycle old or unhealthy mitochondria, proteins, etc., thereby improving the health of the cells. Without adequate sleep and rest, our cells will continue to accumulate these unsound cells.
Aerobic exercise is good for the brain, walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, etc., can make memory better and better.
As you get older, your muscles will decrease, and people will stop trying to move.
Not only will they get fatter, but they will also be too lazy to go out, reducing interpersonal interaction. Recommended physical activity more than 3 times a week.
Mental activity can protect the health of brain cells and can also help brain cells grow. Mental activities can cover various activities such as patchwork, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, carpentry making, weaving, or learning languages.
Reduce drinking and alcohol intake.
Control of body weight and body fat
The risk of dementia in middle-aged obese people will increase by about 30%.
Losing weight can improve various metabolic factors related to cognitive decline/cognitive impairment and dementia such as glucose, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and inflammation.
Studies have shown that middle-aged hypertension is associated with an increased risk of dementia in later life, and blood pressure control plays an important role in improving the morbidity and mortality of the cardiovascular disease.
I know that now that society is gradually aging, in addition to aging memory decline, patients with cognitive decline/cognitive impairment are also beginning to appear. These patients are also likely to develop the risk of dementia.
I hope to give everyone information about cognitive decline/cognitive impairment, and we can slowly adjust our living habits from now on, let us stay away from the risk of dementia together.