X Close Window

Enter zip to see local ads
All Zip Areas

View Sponsor Directory


Tell A Friend!

What is Male Menopause?

Find out about it here

Tai Chi and Qigong improves health and balance!

We have found the most effective home study  course on the market. Check out the site.

Nancy Henirich has written a wonderful Diabetes Book:

Healthy Living with Diabetes, One Small Step At a Time

Like Us on Facebook

Suggestions Email image

Health ... Conditions

How Seniors Can Stay Mentally Sharp

from Joan Cagganio, The Seniors Boutique

You've noticed some changes in your thinking. Maybe you misplace your keys often or have trouble coming up with the right word in conversations. How do you know when these changes are a "normal" part of getting older, or if they might point to a health problem, such as dementia?

How the Brain Typically Ages

As you age, your brain's volume gradually shrinks. When this occurs, some of the nerve cells in your brain can shrink or lose connections with other nerve cells. In addition, blood flow within your brain slows somewhat in the older adult.

These age-related transitions are thought to be behind the changes in cognitive function many people notice as they get older. Everyone has lapses in memory from time to time, but significant memory loss is never a part of the aging process. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you or a loved one are experiencing memory loss and other cognitive symptoms that are interfering with your normal activities and relationships.

Brain Changes That Lead to Dementia

Dementia is the impairment of mental functions including memory, language skills, perception, reasoning, and judgment. There are several different causes of dementia, including:

  • Alzheimer's disease. The most common cause of dementia occurs when nerve cells in the brain become damaged or die, which leads to a gradual decline in cognitive ability.
  • Vascular dementia. Vascular dementia, the second leading cause of dementia, occurs when the nerve fibers in the brain are damaged by cerebrovascular or cardiovascular problems – most often strokes.
  • Lewy body dementia. Lewy body disease is when brain cells located in certain areas of the brain die, leaving abnormal, protein-filled nerve cells known as Lewy bodies.
  • Frontotemporal dementia. Frontotemporal dementia occurs because nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of their brain degenerate, which can interfere with brain activity and result in brain cell death.
  • Other types of dementia. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, Huntington's disease, head trauma, and other health conditions can affect nerve cells in the brain, leading to symptoms of dementia.

Dementia can strike anyone, but certain factors increase your risk for developing it, including:

  • Advanced age
  • Family history of dementia
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque in the arteries)
  • High levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • High levels of homocysteine
  • Diabetes

Tips for Staying Mentally Sharp as You Age

Promising research indicates that taking the following steps may help keep your mind sharp as you age:

  • Control cholesterol problems and high blood pressure. Cholesterol problems and high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, which are thought to contribute to the development of certain types of dementia.
  • Don't smoke or drink excessively. Because these are both seen as putting you at increased risk of dementia, kick the habit if you smoke and, if you drink, do so only in moderation.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity is thought to help maintain blood flow to the brain and reduce your risk of conditions such as high blood pressure that are associated with the development of dementia.
  • Eat a healthy diet. People who consume plenty of vegetables and fatty fish and keep away from saturated fats are thought to have a lower risk of cognitive decline.
  • Stimulate your brain. Keep your mind active by increasing your level of social interaction, learning new skills, playing challenging games, and doing other activities that require your brain cells to work. People who are more socially and intellectually engaged have a lower risk of developing dementia.

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults Myth 1: There no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway. Fact:Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high […]

More Articles

Your Heart Attack Action Plan

Animation - Alzheimer

What you need to know about Arthritis

Tai Chi and Diabetes

Diabeitc footwear - a quick overview

Foot Pain Can Mean Trouble

Eye diseases of the elderly

Seniors, Skin and Sun Myths

Cardiac Rehab Works: Here's How

So what type of foot do you have?

Hearing Loss, Aging and Adaptive Devices

Is it dementia, depression or both

Your Memory Timeline - stages of brain aging

Do You Have a Thyroid Disorder?

Myths and Misconceptions About Insulin Therapy

Sorting Out Symptoms of Stress and Urge Incontinence

Talking About Hip Fractures with Dr. Bellantoni

The National Salt Reduction Initiative

5 Common Myths about Incontinence

Incontinence and Bladder Irritants

How Seniors Can Stay Mentally Sharp

Exercise and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

How Does Hypertension Affect Memory

Depression in Older Adults - Signs and Symptoms

Can Baby Boomers Dodge the Alzheimer's Bullet?

Retinal Detachment - Warning Signs to Look For

Four Key Characteristics of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hoarding: From Cluttered to Clinical

Treating Cataracts: an overview

Hypertension Related Risks to Your Vison

Osteoporosis Preventative Measures

Protein-Rich Diets in Osteoporosis Prevention

3 Common Signs of Functional Decline

3 More Signs of Functional Decline

The Sobering Facts About Hip Fracture

9 Important Post Heart Attack Steps to Follow

10 Steps to Lower Triglycerides

10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Your Colon Cancer Diagnosis

The Concerns That Keep Us Awake At Night

What could be causing my parents cognitive impairment

Medication Assistance Programs

Is Your Loved One Overmedicated

Sleep Strategies for COPD

Beating the Brain Attack: An Overview of Strokes

Six Signs That Memory Loss May Be Serious

Helping a Loved One To Fight Their Addiction

Caring for Cancer: A True Journey