Every year, September 17 is China’s “Chinese Senile Dementia Prevention Day” and September 21 is “World Alzheimer’s Day”. These are two days to remind people to pay attention to diseases that endanger the brain health of the elderly. However, today we will talk about a more common disease called “pre-dementia” and less severe disease-Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).
Mild cognitive impairment is relatively new. The concept has been put forward by the medical community for only 10 years. It is also mainly manifested by memory and mental retardation. It is closely related to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other dementia diseases and is a very noteworthy [danger signal].
Early identification of mild cognitive impairment is very important for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. As parents get older, it is best to be cautious.
Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Prelude to Alzheimer’s Disease?
As one grows older, Almost everyone will suffer from memory loss. The peak of one’s memory is probably in one’s 20s. It is normal to begin to decline slowly after the age of 30 and eventually to the appearance before the age of 20. Alzheimer’s disease is the worst case. Mild cognitive impairment is a little more serious than normal [aging], but not as fierce as Alzheimer’s disease.
It is estimated that less than 1/5 of the people over 65 years old may suffer from mild cognitive impairment, and nearly half of these 1/5 people will gradually develop into dementia in the coming years, ranging from 3 to 5 years, and more will take 10 years.
Mild cognitive impairment does not necessarily deteriorate into Alzheimer’s disease: most of the half of the deteriorated mild cognitive impairment patients may become Alzheimer’s disease and a small number may become other types.
Mild cognitive impairment can be divided into different types, namely amnesia type and non-amnesia type. Amnesia type will mostly become Alzheimer’s disease, while non-amnesia type is other dementia.
More common, common symptoms: forgetting important daily arrangements or constantly asking the same thing.
This kind of forgetting may appear and disappear from time to time. Only the closest people can easily feel it [something seems wrong]. Outsiders are almost impossible to find it. This is completely different from the manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, some forgetful patients also have problems such as language, forgetting words and not being able to call other people’s names. Sometimes it is accompanied by impaired executive function, that is to say, it is no longer good at arranging and planning daily activities and cannot carry out multi-line activities at the same time.
There will be no memory problems, but the above-mentioned problems of executive functions are more obvious, and there will also be changes in temperament, irritability or indifference.
These manifestations also occur during normal aging, Although mild cognitive impairment is more severe, it is not easy to distinguish it. If you find that family members often have sudden memory loss, temperament fluctuation, and self-care ability decline due to these reasons, you may need to accompany them to the neurology department of the hospital and take some professional cognitive tests to determine.
How to treat mild cognitive impairment?
As mentioned earlier, nearly half of mild cognitive impairment patients may develop Alzheimer’s disease in the next few decades.
Although some drugs can delay the development of Alzheimer’s disease, research shows that they do not seem to have any protective effect on mild cognitive impairment. Health care products, vitamin trace elements, etc. also do not protect memory and other cognitive functions. Without vitamin deficiency, supplementing them is often a waste of money.
Since there is no good medicine, we must face up to mild cognitive impairment, realize that it will accompany people for the rest of their lives, and learn some skills to deal with him. For this kind of incurable disease, the key lies in learning a healthy lifestyle, which is the most effective treatment for chronic modern diseases.
1. Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise can protect people’s physical and mental health in many ways. Aerobic exercise keeps you away from obesity and cardiovascular diseases, which are also risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, exercise also has an additional health-care effect on the brain, not only relieving mood and mood, but also buffering memory and mental decline.
If conditions permit, swimming may be the best way, which can not only exercise endurance, but also exercise the high degree of systemic coordination that has a protective effect on the brain.
Jogging is also a convenient and reliable choice, and the slogan [10,000 steps per day] is very scientific. But be sure to run, 20-30 minutes a day to make your heart beat faster! If it is walking, the effect will be greatly reduced.
2. Low-salt, low-fat diet
A low-salt and low-fat diet is the most important way to stay away from modern diseases. All kinds of pickled vegetables or pickled foods are generally high in salt. Special attention should be paid to reminding parents and elders who are accustomed to simple life. The ideal daily diet is to match vegetables, fruits, lean meat and eggs, and staple food in equal quantities. Such a diet can also prevent cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and such diseases can cause tiny cerebrovascular diseases, which is often the cause of dementia.
Sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables also supplement sufficient vitamins and trace elements. It is best to choose olive oil rich in long-chain unsaturated fatty acids when cooking. A little more deep sea fish oil can be added if conditions permit. Studies believe that long-chain unsaturated fatty acids can promote the synthesis of DHA, which is lacking in the elderly, and have certain cognitive protection function.
STEP 3 Make your brain active
Constantly challenge your memory and intelligence. Playing poker and mahjong may have some effect. However, old players may as well try new games or other games, Such as Chinese chess, chess, go and other chess, Or a table game that young people love. The more novel things are, the more brains are needed. The better it works. There are also some puzzle games specifically aimed at memory training, such as games adapted from n-back tasks for neurological research, which are both online versions on computers and clients for smartphones to download. Reading and learning at ordinary times are also helpful, and remember to match parents with appropriate glasses by the way.
If you smoke, be sure to quit. Tobacco is extremely harmful to your whole body health. If you already have hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, depression, etc., these accompanying diseases are easy to promote deterioration of each other.
In the face of mild cognitive impairment, remember, exercise comes first, healthy diet comes second, and challenging brain limits comes third.