News Health/Medical Unlocking Brain Health: A Holistic Approach to Dementia

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Unlocking Brain Health: A Holistic Approach to Dementia

By Copilot, RNZ Contributor

Dementia, often feared as an inevitable consequence of aging, need not be our destiny. In a groundbreaking interview, Professor Vladimir Hachinski, a world-renowned brain health expert, shares insights that empower us to safeguard our cognitive well-being.

The Three Most Precious Pounds

Professor Hachinski likens the human brain to "the three most precious pounds in the known universe." Just as we meticulously care for an expensive car, we must prioritize brain health. His model, known as the ABC, emphasizes:

  • Activity and Sleep: A mere 3000 steps a day can significantly reduce the risk of early mortality. Nature walks further alleviate anxiety and stress.
  • Balanced Diet and Blood Pressure Control: Small dietary adjustments yield substantial health benefits.
  • Connecting with Others: Social engagement fosters mental resilience.

Debunking the Myth

Contrary to popular belief, dementia is not an inevitable part of aging. Only 5% of people in their 70s experience dementia, and the odds of maintaining mental acuity outweigh the risk of developing dementia at any life stage.

Preventable Factors

While genetics play a role, certain risk factors are preventable. Even late-life changes matter:

  • Quit smoking: Even after 65, kicking the habit reduces dementia risk.
  • Embrace physical activity: A few extra steps each day make a difference.

Let's treat our brains like prized possessions. After all, they hold the keys to our memories, emotions, and intellect.

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