Your memory is slipping, and you sometimes feel like you’re “in a fog.” Is it simple aging or…something else? It’s never too early to have a cognitive evaluation!
Many medications for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive decline have been tested and re-tested, and now there’s FDA-approved for Alzheimer treatment! Legembi and Donanemab have been recently added to the list of cholinesterase inhibitors that effectively treat cognitive impairment. If you have recently been diagnosed, carefully review each medication your doctor suggests, and determine together if one could be a fit for you. In addition to those medications available, there are countless ways to improve cognitive function and possibly prevent decline altogether.
Multi-tasking has been proven a myth! If you’re reading a book, read it with no distractions. If you’re having a conversation, no distractions. Even watching a movie, no distractions. As we age, our memory spans shorten, so it’s all that much more important that we tune in to one thing at a time and be selective in what we want to truly retain.
Keep Your Mind Active
Crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, one-one-one conversations, reading… all these keep our brains active and toned. If you’ve adopted an exercise plan to keep your heart healthy (and we hope you have!), adopt one to keep your mind healthy as well. The old-adage, “Use it or lose it”, applies to every part of our bodies, so let’s invest in our minds to have active and fulfilling senior years.
Diet and Nutrition
Explore a diet that is healthiest for your brain health. Antioxidants and healthy fats are as essential to vitamins and minerals when it comes to keeping a strong mind. Healthy oils (coconut, avocado, olive oil….) are essential to strong cognitive function. Consider the Top 25 foods for brain health and start adding them to your menus!
Eating whole foods is the fastest way for these vital nutrients to be absorbed in by your body. In addition, many natural supplements are proving successful in improving cognitive health as well:
If adding supplements to your diet, check labels very carefully to make sure you take the proper dosage. In fact, it is recommended that seniors discuss their supplements with a physician, just as they discuss their prescriptions, to ensure that they do not interfere with the effectiveness of medications. Since supplements are NOT regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, ask your doctor for a reputable source that provides high-quality products. Insist on only those with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification.
- Omega 3 fatty acids can be taken through fish oil supplements. It is recommended that adults receive 1.1 to 1.6 grams daily in food and supplements.
- Caffeine has gotten a bad rap for some time, but like many things, it has great benefits if taken cautiously. Coffee is effective in improving mood and alleviating depression symptoms. It is now proven by some to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
- VITAMIN D is found in cod liver oil, salmon and trout, fortified cereals, milk…and of course in supplemental capsule form. Typically called the “sunshine vitamin,” it’s critical that we have plenty of Vitamin D for brain health, especially in winter months.
- WATER makes up about 73% of the brain and central nervous system! It is necessary to getting good nutrients into your brain and toxins out of your body. Consuming the recommended amount of water each day can make a drastic difference in your cognitive function. (It is recommended that women drink about 11 cups and men drink 15 cups per day.)
These are good days for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and other illness that affect our brain health. Although it is often a sensitive topic, addressing it early is KEY in treatment. If you or a loved one notice some cognitive changes, an early evaluation and some lifestyle changes can make all the difference in a sound mind and body!