There are many risk factors that increase a person’s chances of developing dementia. Some of these are unavoidable, such as gender, age and ethnicity.
However, there are some lifestyle changes people can make that could reduce their risk of eventually suffering from the syndrome, such as drinking two litres of water every day.
GP at The London General Practice, Dr Angela Rai, spoke to GB News about the steps people can take to reduce their chances of having dementia.
The expert advised: “To help reduce the risks, exercise your mind and body, reduce your alcohol intake, follow a nutritious diet, drink two litres of water a day, reduce your sugar consumption, stop smoking, aim for six to eight hours of good quality sleep a night, socialise and reduce stress.”
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Your water drinking can help you reduce your risk of dementia
A study published in the National Library of Medicine agreed that staying hydrated may reduce your chances of getting the syndrome, with research showing that dehydrated people are at higher risk for dementia.
In a similar vein, the study found that individuals with dementia are at higher risk for dehydration.
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation explained: “The adult human body contains around 60 per cent water. All the cells in the body, including our brain cells, depend on this water to carry out essential functions.
“Therefore, if water levels are too low, our brain cells cannot function properly, leading to cognitive problems.”
When a dehydrated person is completing a cognitively engaging task, their brain appears to work harder. In younger adults, this effort can manifest in tiredness and a change in mood.
‘To help reduce the risks, drink two litres of water a day’
Dr Rai also offered some advice for people whose loved ones could be developing the syndrome.
She said: “Red flags include forgetting the names of close family and friends or details of recent events, but dementia is more than memory loss. Subtle symptoms may progress over time. There is noticeable short-term memory loss as well as confusion and lack of concentration which may lead to losing track of time.
“Memory loss can be caused by a number of medical conditions but if you are concerned that a family member’s memory is not subtle age-related signs but something more sinister such as Alzheimer’s dementia, it is important to take immediate action and see a doctor.
“More can be done at the early stages. They can do memory tests and blood tests to find the causes of memory impairment. Stay calm – it is important to get the facts right and get as much information as you can about the condition. Having a diagnosis can help with the management of the condition as well as future planning.
“Be calm and empathic – some people may realise they are suffering from symptoms whilst others may not. Listen to their concerns, take it seriously and seek expert advice. Access the right services to help optimize current brain health and reduce the risk of future cognitive decline.”
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