Dr Zoe says walking can reduce risk of dementia
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According to a leading charity, there are five main signs of the brain-robbing condition to look out for. Age UK says “problems with memory” is one of the signs of dementia to watch, which can present in numerous ways. For instance, people who have dementia could forget the name of people or things, they may struggle to remember recent events, and they may forget where things are kept.
Another clue that there is a loss of neurons in the brain includes “problems with thinking skills”.
Examples of this symptom of dementia could include:
- Feeling your thoughts or memories are clouded
- Finding it takes you longer to process information
- Struggling to follow conversations
- Getting yourself in a muddle and being unable to arrange things in the right order
- Finding your decision making is affected, for example cooking too much or too little food.
Dementia could also lead to “disorientation”, which means the person becomes lost in familiar places.
A person could be out and forget where they were going or how to get there; confusion might settle in, especially about the time of day, and issues can occur with spatial awareness.
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The charity adds people who have dementia might struggle to “follow things”, meaning they find it difficult to follow conversations, especially in groups.
It could become more difficult to follow what is going on in TV programmes, or losing track of what’s happening in a book or news article.
There can also be “mood and personality changes” as damage is being done to the brain.
Examples of mood and personality changes can include:
- Experiencing mood swings
- Becoming irritable or short-tempered
- Losing interest in hobbies and socialising.
Five symptoms of dementia
- Problems with memory
- Problems with thinking skills
- Struggling to follow things
- Mood and personality changes.
Age UK says: “If problems like these start to affect your daily life, it’s worth making an appointment to discuss them with your doctor.
“If you’re worried about someone else, try to encourage them to see their doctor.”
The charity emphasises that anybody concerned about their symptoms should “see your GP”.
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There are numerous forms of dementia, from Alzheimer’s disease to vascular dementia.
“Knowing the type of dementia means treatment can be more specific to an individual’s needs,” Age UK adds.
As such, an early diagnosis is key in helping to stabilise the condition for longer.
In the UK, only 43 percent of people with dementia have been diagnosed, which shows how under diagnosed the condition is.
Can dementia be prevented?
Leading an unhealthy lifestyle has been shown to increase people’s risk of developing dementia.
Thus, taking steps to protect your health can have a beneficial long-term impact.
Reduce your risk of dementia by eating a varied diet full of fruit and vegetables, exercise regularly, and enjoy an active life with plenty of outside interests.
This can include hobbies, such as choir practice, a book club, or joining a knitting society.
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