Guarding Against Dementia

September 21, 2011

Protect yourself from dementia by taking care of your heart.  A new study followed more than 450 elderly people and found that those with cardiovascular disease show steeper declines in cognitive function than those with healthy hearts. Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia, second only to Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic, reduced blood flow to the brain -- often caused by strokes that are so small the symptoms go unnoticed -- cause vascular dementia. Over time, the damage adds up, leading to memory loss, confusion, and other signs of dementia. Protect your heart and reduce your risk of vascular dementia:
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Control your cholesterol levels.
  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Include exercise in your daily routine.
  • Maintain a low-salt, low-fat diet.
Reducing cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol are good for your heart  and your mind.

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