Knowing Dementia: What are the Risks Factors? | SPD - Singapore

Knowing Dementia: What are the Risks Factors?

06/07/2018

Recent statistics show that currently there are over 45,000 people with dementia in Singapore, doubling figures just a decade ago. This number is set to hit 187,000 by 2050. Let’s look at what are the risk factors and what we can do to help delay the onset of dementia.

RISK FACTORS

Being Overweight

Being overweight can lead to a risk of developing dementia due to high BMI. One theory is that excess body fat can lead to changes in the brain that make it more susceptible to degeneration.

Eating ‘Bad’ Carbohydrates

Elderly who eat a lot of processed carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread or processed cereals have a higher risk of dementia. Lean towards eating ‘good’ carbohydrates such as brown rice, vegetables and fruits to delay the onset of dementia. Not only that, we get to keep our health in top condition too!

Having a Sweet Tooth

Eating and drinking artificially sweetened foods is associated with an increased risk of getting ischemic stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It also leads to diabetes, a known risk factor to dementia. To lower the risks of all of these, it is advisable to cut down on our sugar intake.

Being Sedentary

Studies show that people who exercise have a 33 per cent lower risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This is due to an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that helps to improve long-term memory.

Knowing these factors can help us to spot and identify unhealthy habits that may lead to dementia.

Exercising has been shown to help delay the onset of dementia.

HOW EXERCISING HELPS

There are also physical activities that are suitable for those in the early or more advanced stages of dementia.

We hope these tips will help keep everyone in better health. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting on any exercises, especially if you have a health condition.

SOURCE: TNP Article, 4 June 2018, “Cut Out These Dementia Risk Factors”