As doctors and researchers learn more about dementia, more information is available about what people can do to minimize their risks of developing the disorder later in life.
Some risk factors are simply unavoidable, such as growing older and having a family history of dementia. But there are other risks people can combat that may decrease their chances of later developing the affliction.
Many risk factors occur during one’s midlife years, so it is important to reduce such risks in your 40s and 50s. Treating high blood pressure, quitting smoking, properly managing diabetes, and avoiding obesity as you age are all ways to help fight off dementia.
More specific risk factors for dementia include suffering head injuries, some of which can happen while participating in sports like boxing or soccer, where frequent or repeated head injuries may occur.
Alcoholism or longstanding high alcohol use can lead to brain problems, and eventually, dementia. Long-term marijuana use can also be problematic, as it may affect the frontal lobe of the brain and cause loss of interest and energy. Apathy is commonly one of the first behavioral symptoms of dementia.
Check out the video below for more on what you can do to minimize your risks of developing dementia.
Joe Livarchik is copy writer and editor who lives in Seattle. Originally hailing from the Midwest, Joe has a background in journalism and nonprofit work. He enjoys coffee and getting lost in the great outdoors with his fiancée.