Steps You Can Take to Help Prevent Dementia

Feb 12, 2024
Though experts continue to research how to reduce the risk of developing dementia, evidence supports that making healthy lifestyle changes can play a role. Uncover the facts here.

Dementia is a condition that affects about 50 million people worldwide. If you’re familiar with dementia and want to learn more, you can rely on our team at New England Institute for Neurology and Headache for information and help. 

We understand the profound impact it can have on individuals and their families. Although there's no guaranteed way to prevent dementia entirely, research suggests that certain lifestyle changes and habits can potentially reduce your risk or delay its onset. 

Here are 10 proactive steps you can take to promote brain health and potentially lower your risk of developing dementia.

Regular exercise

We all know that engaging in regular physical activity is beneficial for your body, but did you know it’s also good for your brain? Here’s why: It causes an increase in blood flow to your brain, promotes the growth of new brain cells, and reduces the risk of conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, which are associated with a higher risk of dementia.

Healthy diet

Adopting a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats (such as those found in fish, nuts, and olive oil) can support your brain health. Some studies suggest that diets like the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes these foods, may reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Mental stimulation

Reading, puzzles, learning new skills, playing musical instruments, and engaging in hobbies that challenge your mind can help build and maintain your cognitive reserves. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities can potentially lower your risk of dementia.

Quality sleep

When you don’t sleep well or have poor sleeping habits, you’re at a higher risk of cognitive decline. You should try to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night to help your brain rest and recharge.

Social engagement

It’s important to maintain social connections and stay engaged with friends, family, and community activities. Social interaction stimulates your brain, which promotes healthy cognitive function.

Manage chronic conditions

If you have conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, you can have an increased risk of developing dementia. Be sure to manage these conditions through lifestyle changes, medication, or treatment as advised by your healthcare professional.

Limit alcohol and avoid smoking

Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can have adverse effects on your brain. Limit your alcohol intake and avoid smoking to support your brain health.

Regular health checkups

Schedule regular checkups with your healthcare provider. Addressing and managing health issues early can help prevent complications that might impact your brain health.

Stress management

Chronic stress can negatively affect your brain health. Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, or mindfulness to promote your overall well-being.

Protect your head

Take precautions to prevent head injuries. Wear a seatbelt while driving, use helmets during sports or recreational activities, and make your living environment safer to prevent falls.

Whether you’d like to schedule an evaluation or simply learn more about dementia and how you can prevent it, call us today at 203-914-1900 at our practice in Stamford, Connecticut. You can also use our online scheduling tool as a convenient option at any time to book an appointment.