In my research of articles about dementia and the diseases that fall under this umbrella, I am finding one fact about risk factors that I am having a hard time understanding. For instance, in the latest publication of the AARP magazine, “What we know (and don’t know) about Alzheimer’s,” the writers state that age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
In examination of this factor in some research studies, we find that symptoms of the disease can begin at any age after turning 40. (early onset). The AARP article states that most people are recorded with symptoms after 65. Alz.org reports that after age 65, Alzheimer’s symptoms increase with increasing age. Therefore, can we conclude that age in itself is not the risk for Alzheimer’s, but symptoms can evolve with aging? Perhaps it would be more accurate to conclude that we have a greater risk of symptoms becoming pronounced as we age.
When we consider the causes of dementia, it seems reasonable that research shows that certain positive life style habits can contribute to prevention. Some researchers dispute that claim. However, as with any other disease or health issue, good health care can make us feel better and therefore, add to the quality of life. Nutritious food, exercise, quality sleep, social interaction and living positive, less stressful lives are beneficial in keeping an uplifting, healthy mind and body.
Some researchers claim that studies show that there is no way to prevent, slow down or stop any of the irreversible dementia diseases. A new claim that damaged hearing is a risk for dementia does not make sense to me. I’ve known many deaf and reduced hearing people and none of them developed any kind of dementia throughout life. That’s like saying that blind people are more receptive to the deposits of amyloid plague in Alzheimer’s or blood clots causing strokes and vascular dementia. While it is true that senses do play a big part in memory collection and processing, it does not seem reasonable that the interruption of any sense would cause the plagues, chemical problems, blood flow issues or any other factors that contribute to dementia.
Scientists and researchers with the degrees and extensive learning must be applauded for the wonderful break throughs in brain research, care, diagnosing and drug interactions. However, it is up to us all to be aware of the facts as we see them in ourselves and the people we care for. We need to read, listen and apply what we learn. Nonetheless, we should also be perceptive and open to question in our own observances and circumstances. What is true for one person may not be true for another.
Read, “Is it Dementia?” by Clarice Cook, CDP, HHA in the blog pages at dementiacareguides.com
Creating the Dynamic Dementia Care Team and Memory Path Care Solutions is available in ebook, paperback and audio at Amazon.com and Audible.com.