Steve Thompson recalls signs of his early-onset dementia
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Dementia is a term used for a range of conditions that affect the brain. Each of these conditions prevents the brain cells – or neurons – from functioning properly, which will affect their memory, thoughts and speech. The most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia.
It is widely known that keeping our brains active is one way to try to preserve the memory.
Experts often recommend brain training activities such as crossword and sudoku puzzles as well as learning languages or musical instruments, for example.
However, what we eat could also affect our memory.
A spokesperson from Hearts-Challenge.com, which aims to help people with with brain training and memory, recommended eating broccoli to lower the risk of dementia.
They said: “As we age, our mental functions slow down, and many people become aware that their thinking isn’t as sharp as it used to be.
“This can be things like becoming more easily distracted by busy environments or finding it more difficult to work through complex problems and decisions.
“However, there are some really easy ways to boost your brain power, regardless of your age or occupation.
“From the food you eat to how much sleep you get, simple things can help you zap that brain fog.”
They explained further: “Eating your five a day may not be as fun as tucking into a takeaway, but did you know veggies can actually stop our brains from ageing?
“Evidence from International Food and Health Information suggests eating more vegetables can slow the gradual decline in cognitive abilities that occurs naturally as we age.
“While all veggies are likely to contribute, those in the cruciferous (brassicaceae) family have extra benefits thanks to their high fibre, folate, potassium, and vitamin content.
“Vegetables in this family include broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and rocket.”
This was backed by Diabetes.org, which says: “Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage and Brussels sprouts help retain memory.
“They contain carotenoids and folate, which lowers levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked with cognitive impairment.”
It also recommends the following foods for memory boosting properties:
- Leafy greens
- Dark chocolate
Dementia is most common in people over the age of 65, but can occur at any age.
Common symptoms of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
- Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
- Being confused about time and place
- Mood changes.
These symptoms often gradually get worse over time.
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