Lifestyle Changes Can Delay Onset of Alzheimer’s Dementia: KIMS Neurologist

Bhubaneswar, Sept 21: Unhealthy lifestyle, alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of proper sleep, exercise and diet could increase the chances of Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) along with genetic factors, said leading neurologist of KIMS Dr. Santosh Kumar Dash.

On the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Day, Dr Dash advised adequate sleep, developing a good reading habit, avoiding alcohol, smoking and sufficient daily exercise to prevent the onset of dementia.

Dr Dash is the Associate Professor and Head of the Neurology Department Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), a KIIT Group of Institutions constituent. Alzheimer’s dementia (loss of memory) is the most common dementia found in the world. It is a disease mostly affecting the elderly population and the risk of developing the disease increases as one steps towards 60 years. As of 2020, 50 million people globally have Alzheimer’s dementia (AD), with this number expected to increase to 152 million by 2050.

In India, it is also the most common cause of memory loss in the elderly population.  The most common early symptom in these patients are forgetfulness — mostly to recent things like misplacing household objects, forgetting the telephonic conversion also telling the same things repeatedly.

As the disease progress patients are unable to identify the family members,   unable to control urine, stool and eventually death. No definitive cause is yet to be found but in most cases, there is a genetic predisposition to develop this disease. “Controlling your blood pressure, blood sugar, obesity also prevents the disease onset,’’ Dr Dash said.

The 21st Day of September every year is observed as World Alzheimer’s Day with the aim to generate awareness about this disease.  The theme for this year is “Know Dementia, know Alzheimer’s.  Till today researchers have not found any cure of this irreversible disease of the brain but a lot can be done to prevent the onset of dementia as elucidated. Awareness of the public about this disease, its early sign can help to plan the treatment both medically and in supportive therapy, Dr Dash said.

Alzheimer’s patients are a significant burden to their family members and caregivers. Therefore, education is vital for its successful management, he added. Dr Dash, however, clarified that not all memory loss are dementia and not all dementia are Alzheimer’s, hence a correct diagnosis is required for successful treatment. Anyone having memory loss hampering the person’s daily activities of living needs urgent consultation of a neurologist to diagnose this disease.

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