Mild Cognitive Dementia Risk Factors
Old age does not have to mean that you lose cognitive skills needed to live an independent lifestyle. While we can forget something at any age, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is largely responsible for issues that affect our ability to communicate, remember, think and make clear judgments. This is the stage between the normal decline that happens a we get older and a diagnosed condition, namely dementia. However, MCI does not always lead to dementia; individuals can simply live with this mild impairment without it progressing.
It is important to understand the risk factors associated with MCI; although some of them cannot be changed, certain lifestyle choices can be modified to decrease your chances of developing this condition.
The older you get, the higher your chances of developing MCI are. Alzheimer’s Association states that “long-term studies suggest that 10 to 20 percent of those aged 65 and older may have MCI.”
Individuals that carry the gene APOE-e4 have a higher chance of getting MCI; however, not everyone who has this gene will develop the condition. In general, APOE-e4 is believed to be responsible for speeding up cognitive decline, especially when other risk factors, such as age, are present.
Certain studies have found a link between diabetes and MCI. Medscape explains that there is evidence that a lack of glycemic control resulting in hypo- or hyperglycemia leads to CI among diabetic patients.” With over 1.7 million people getting a new diabetes diagnosis annually, it is important that individuals and their caretakers understand how to prevent and manage diabetes. Eating a healthy diet to prevent diabetes, exercising and taking medication for those that have this condition is essential to lower the risk of MCI.
There is a strong link between individuals who smoke and their risk of getting MCI. A study that observed cognitive function in people 43-70 for five years found that smokers had lower cognitive function than non-smokers. It is very beneficial for smokers to be aware of this information, and do everything possible to stop smoking today!
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is associated with cognitive decline. A Swedish study that consisted of 999 men with higher blood pressure levels at the age of 50 found that their cognitive decline was affected 20 years later, as compared to individuals with normal blood pressure. Taking blood pressure medication, as well as avoiding stress and doing yoga and mindful meditation have been helpful in treating hypertension.
There is no current cure for mild cognitive impairment, but there are California paid pharmaceutical studies trying to find a cure. Pacific Institute of Medical Research offers Los Angeles MCI clinical trials. Contact them at (310) 208-7144 or go online to find out more information.