Change Your Life, Prevent Dementia By Jane Sandwood
Although research is limited in this area, a 2003 study published in Archives of Neurology showed that three quarters of those with Parkinson’s disease will likely develop dementia within 8 years of diagnosis. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, disorientation, difficulty with language and inability to recognize people among others. Exercise is a great way to tackle the symptoms of Parkinson’s but did you know that keeping fit could also help you to prevent the onset of dementia? Here are some of the other ways you can help prevent the onset of dementia as a Parkinson's sufferer.
Exercise has been shown to benefit the quality of life, strength, balance and speed of people with Parkinson’s disease. According to a 2006 study by Larson and colleagues, exercise is associated with a delay in the onset of dementia symptoms as well as the development of Alzheimer’s. Contact your local gym to have exercises tailored to your condition or join a walking or cycling group. The use of technology, such as mobile sensors, to keep track of the positive effects on your physical health can also help you to see an improvement.
Studies have shown that food additives, foods high in fats and processed foods can all affect memory adversely. Those with Parkinson’s may find it difficult to cook for themselves so it may be worth asking a loved one if they can assist you to make healthier, freshly cooked meals to keep in your freezer. In the absence of this, there are food delivery companies and charities that may be suitable. Add plenty of brain food high in antioxidants to your diet, such as berries, oranges, broccoli and spinach. Also ensure that you eat some omega-3 fats in the form of salmon, tuna and olive oil.
De-Stress and Be Social
Studies show that those with mild cognitive impairment have worsened memory and cognitive ability after periods of chronic stress. This shows the importance of learning to relax and finding ways to cope with stress to prevent dementia, such as breathing exercises, reading or yoga. Loneliness can also contribute to the earlier onset of dementia so it is important to stay social. By joining a group and learning something new, you will be meeting new people as well as keeping the brain active, helping to prevent memory problems.
The preventative measures taken for dementia can also significantly improve the quality of life of a Parkinson’s sufferer. Making some little changes gradually can have a large positive impact on your overall health.
Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer and content editor with over 10 years’ experience across many fields. Jane has a particular interest in issues relating to elderly care and health.