Today, one in five elderly people is said to have dementia. To live a long and healthy life, dementia should be avoided. Therefore, in this article, we will introduce the precautions of lifestyle and diet for prevention that can be done from the 50s and 60s.
Table of contents
- Supervisor profile: Takashi Asada (dementia specialist)
- Dementia that should be avoided for a long and healthy life
- What you can do in your 50s and 60s to prevent dementia
- Dementia prevention measures 1: Things to keep in mind in your lifestyle
- Measures to prevent dementia 2: Things to keep in mind in your diet
- Measures to prevent dementia 3: Hobbies are also effective in preventing dementia
- Held on December 12th! Rejuvenating brain training, matcha experience, mini concert
Supervisor profile: Takashi Asada (dementia specialist)
Takashi Asada Director of Memory Clinic Ochanomizu. Specially appointed professor at Tokyo Medical and Dental University. Professor Emeritus, University of Tsukuba. His specialty is clinical Alzheimer’s disease, early diagnosis and prevention of dementia. His publications include “Dementia no Gray Zone” (published by Seishun Publishing) and many others.
Dementia that should be avoided for a long and healthy life
According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s “Minna no Mental Health Comprehensive Site” , dementia is “a state in which various mental functions that have developed normally after birth are chronically reduced or lost, making it impossible to lead a daily or social life.” . Typical symptoms include memory impairment, disorientation, impaired judgment, language impairment, executive dysfunction, and reduced problem-solving ability.
What causes dementia?
Although the direct cause of many dementia diseases is unknown, it is believed that they develop due to the deterioration of the nerve cells in the brain that control memory and learning, the glial cells that support them, and the cerebral arteries that supply nutrients to the brain. I’m here.
Cerebrovascular disease can also cause dementia. Diseases that cause dementia include Alzheimer’s disease and hypothyroidism.
Lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension also affect brain health and are thought to affect the onset of dementia.
What is the prevalence of dementia?
According to the 2017 White Paper on the Aging Society (Cabinet Office) , the number of dementia patients (estimated) in 2012 was 4.62 million. It affects about 15% of people over the age of 65, or about 1 in 7 people. However, the number of dementia patients is expected to increase year by year, and it is estimated that by 2025, one in five elderly people will be dementia patients.
Here, we will introduce countermeasures for dementia, a decline in attention and judgment, and forgetfulness that appear as a pre-stage of dementia.
What you can do in your 50s and 60s to prevent dementia
In the past, dementia was thought to be an unpreventable disease, but now it is becoming a “preventable disease” by taking early measures at the stage of mild cognitive decline.
Dementia prevention is recommended to start around the age of 50 . Two important points for prevention are lifestyle and diet.
Dementia prevention point 1: Lifestyle habits
It is known that a lack of stimulation to the brain is likely to lead to a decline in cognitive function. In order to prevent dementia, it is important to provide appropriate stimulation in daily life.
Dementia prevention point 2: Meal content
Since dementia occurs when the function of the brain declines, it seems that the diet for dementia prevention is the same as the diet for people with cerebrovascular disease. Try to eat a well-balanced diet that limits your calorie intake (details on what to eat will be introduced later).
Dementia prevention measures 1: Things to keep in mind in your lifestyle
For the prevention of dementia, there are three things that are important in daily life: exercise, intellectual activity, and communication.
Physical activity stimulates the brain. Many people feel pain in their lower back and knees as they get older, but if they don’t exercise because of the pain, their cognitive function will decline. Simple exercises such as stretching and walking are fine, so try incorporating them into your life.
Intellectual activity is also recommended to prevent dementia. There is also data that people who have a habit of solving brain training problems such as puzzles at least once a day perform better on cognitive function tests than those who do not do it at all or solve it occasionally. In addition, work that moves the hands, such as origami and handicrafts, is also effective for cognitive function measures. Find something that you enjoy and can continue to do every day.
Exchange and communication with people
Interacting with family and friends gives a great stimulus to the brain. Laugh, be surprised, be impressed. Such a movement of the heart will stimulate the brain and lead to a fulfilling and fulfilling life. It’s difficult to meet face-to-face right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, but try to find ways to talk to each other by phone or online chat.
Measures to prevent dementia 2: Things to keep in mind in your diet
Next, I would like to talk about eating habits. Introducing effective diets and nutrients to prevent dementia.
Low sugar, low salt
Too much sugar can lead to diabetes, and too much salt can lead to high blood pressure. Such lifestyle-related diseases increase the risk of dementia. If you get used to eating foods with a lot of sugar and salt, you will start to feel unsatisfactory with the usual seasonings, and you may end up with too much sugar and salt. When you eat, keep low sugar and low salt in mind.
A lack of protein in old age is said to make it easier for muscles to weaken and cognitive function to decline. Therefore, it is necessary to consume good quality protein. Get your protein from meat, seafood, dairy products, and soy products.
Eat foods rich in B vitamins
It is said that when the amount of homocysteine in the blood increases, arteriosclerosis progresses, adversely affecting the blood vessels in the brain, and possibly causing dementia. can be kept low. Foods high in vitamin B6 include kale and bananas, and foods high in vitamin B12 and folic acid include liver.
Take effective ingredients for cognitive function measures
Nutrients that help prevent dementia include DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which are abundant in blue fish. Also, lecithin contained in soybeans is a component that produces neurotransmitters, so tofu and natto are also recommended. In addition, it is known that ingredients such as catechin and theanine contained in green tea and matcha are also useful for cognitive function measures .
Measures to prevent dementia 3: Hobbies are also effective in preventing dementia
In terms of “stimulating the brain”, hobbies may lead to dementia prevention. Let’s incorporate hobbies into your life that will help prevent dementia while having fun.
Hobbies that involve working with your fingertips
The action of using the fingertips stimulates the brain, which leads to the prevention of dementia. For example, hobbies such as handicrafts, puzzles, and origami can also prevent dementia. In addition to moving your hands, it is also a point that you can enjoy it with your eyes.
Hobbies that bring stability to the autonomic nervous system
The sympathetic nervous system, which is dominant when excited, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which is dominant when relaxed. A stable balance of these autonomic nerves is thought to lead to the prevention of dementia. For example, yoga has the effect of activating the parasympathetic nerves by doing abdominal breathing, and karaoke can activate the sympathetic nerves by singing loudly.
Now that people are refraining from going out due to the spread of the new coronavirus, there are probably many people who are concerned about the decline in cognitive function. This time, I introduced only simple countermeasures that can be done right now, such as lifestyle habits and diet. Do you want to start doing what you can do to prevent dementia?