I lost my mother to Dementia. It breaks my heart that I didn’t know how to help her at that point in my life. I have had many people ask what can help people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
Fortunately, there are more answers today to help with this debilitating disease. Like everything else, it starts with a good diet of clean food, exercise, proper intake of good water, adequate sleep, and supplementation.
Since ancient Greece and Rome days, they believed rosemary strengthened the memory. Essential oil rosemary has been found over many years to improve memory. The research has looked at how the smell of rosemary affects cognition. Studies showed that people exposed to the aroma of rosemary showed an increase in speed and accuracy in the task provided for them. But, this isn’t only beneficial to the older people suffering cognitive decline.
Different tests have been tried on students in classrooms as well. They found that if they put school-age children in one room with the aroma of rosemary present, these students demonstrated higher memory scores than the children in the other room with no rosemary. Another test with children between 13-15 years of age also did well when tested. In this study, they sprayed the room with rosemary. These children showed improvement in memory of images and numbers.
Life Extension put out a great article in March 2022 by Judith Sauer, highlighting NAC’s effects on brain health. She explains NAC, or N-acetyl-L-cysteine is an amino acid that became popular because it reduces respiratory illness and improves immunity. She states researchers have discovered that NAC is also beneficial for brain health. Our body doesn’t produce as much glutathione as when we were younger; this can cause an accelerated progression of neurodegenerative disorders. Using advanced brain imaging, scientists found that even a single-dose infusion of NAC significantly increased glutathione levels in healthy individuals and those burdened with chronic conditions.
She continues to say as glutathione levels drop, the brain’s defenses weaken. It becomes more susceptible to oxidative injury. She points out higher levels of oxidative stress contribute to the progression of cognitive dysfunction.
She also states decreased glutathione levels were present in other conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and even major depression. Studies performed show that NAC is an effective way to boost glutathione levels in the body.
Mental stimulation is another area that studies show helps with Dementia. Through puzzles, games, reading, walking, dancing, social visits, and senior center involvement, people can increase stimulation.
Sleeping is another critical area to pay attention to in cognitive decline. Studies have shown that people in their 50s and 60s who sleep less than six hours a night have a higher susceptibility to Dementia later in life. Lack of sleep causes many health ailments in life. Are you having trouble sleeping?
Dehydration is another concern with cognitive decline. Did you know that every cell in our body relies on water to function correctly, including the brain? Some studies have indicated that older adults with low hydration struggle to complete cognitive tasks.
While dehydration affects both men and women cognitively, women of all ages show more vulnerability. Studies suggest that women over 60 who were not hydrated found it harder to complete tests based on attention and the speed they could process. Men also experience this decline but to a lesser degree than women.
Inactivity has become the next danger to the health and wellness of all people. There is significant literature available that supports regular exercise positively influences cognitive ability. Exercise helps the blood flow and circulation, creating more oxygen for the brain. A healthy brain needs growth hormones to develop new brain cells, and exercise helps in this process.
What we choose to eat can significantly affect our physical health and can impact our mental health, too – eating clean foods, and a balanced diet do wonders for us mentally and physically.
It is never too late to start taking better care of yourself. Remember, minor changes today lead to significant changes over time. Our brains are very precious. Be proactive rather than reactive for the best results.