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Lowering the risk of cognitive decline

Lots of middle-aged people are worried about ending up with dementia.

And as Homer Simpson says, “That’s good.”

But those who are worried are either not doing anything to ward it off.

So again, to cite Homer, “That’s bad.”

And of those who are doing something, nearly all are doing stuff that is known not to work.

Once again, “That’s bad.”

So the background here is that according to a large American survey, roughly half of middle-aged adults think they may get dementia, which is not very likely given that even if they live to a very old age of 85, current statistics tell us that only about 1/3 will end up with dementia (and also given the way things are going, not a whole lot of these current-middle-agers will actually get to 85).

That said, I think that although most of these people will not end up with dementia, it’s nevertheless a good thing that so many people are concerned about the possibility of cognitive decline given how devastating a condition this can be.

But this same survey also tells us that only 5% of people have discussed dementia and how to prevent it with a health care professional – which, I think, speaks highly poorly about the doctors these people are going to because you would think that every doctor should have brought this up at least once with any middle-aged patient of theirs because you would really like to start preventing dementia long, long, long before old age.

And even worse, I think, in this survey over 1/3 of respondents who are doing something active to ward off dementia are taking supplements as their main weapon, stuff like Omega-3 oils, fish oils, gingko biloba, and other nonsense they may have seem some charlatan peddle on TV or on the net, even though there is absolutely no good scientific validity in favour of any supplement for prevention of dementia.

It may not be sexy, it’s certainly not as easy as swallowing a pill, but the best weapons to ward off dementia for most of us are exercise, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a good social life.

And until we do finally find something you can swallow, it’s those tactics you should focus on if you want to lower your risk of cognitive decline.