Dementia refers to symptoms caused by the deterioration of the brain. Dementia is usually diagnosed when two or more symptoms indicating loss of brain function are detected. Memory loss, behavioural problems, hallucinations, inability to reason or think clearly, personality changes, agitation, disorientation, loss of language skills, perception and cognition are all common symptoms.
Damage to brain cells can be caused by a number of factors including Alzheimers disease which is the most common cause of dementia. Vascular disease generally caused by a stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure and vascular disease. Lewy body dementia caused by abnormal structures in the brain's nerve cells. Dementia can also be caused by HIV-associated disease, Huntingtons disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Boxer's syndrome.
According to a report recently published in the journal "Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders" and funded by the National Institutes of Health, factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes also increased the risk of dementia in later life.
About 1% of adults over the age of 60 get dementia and its frequency doubles every five years after 60 years. It is currently estimated that over 6 million people in the US have dementia.
Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process and people can live into their 90s without any dementia symptoms.
There are several steps that can be taken to prevent or delay dementia
Dr. Susanne Sorensen, Head of Research of Alzheimer's Society stated that "Indian communities that regularly eat curcumin have a surprisingly low incidence of Alzheimer's disease...a cheap accessible and safe treatment could transform the quality of life of thousands of people with the condition. With the right investment, dementia can be defeated"
Turmeric spicewhich contains curcumin is used in most Indian dishes. Turmeric has been considered beneficial in reducing plaque build-up in the brain. Used regularly in Indian cooking, Turmeric is also available in capsule form and can be taken as a daily health supplement.
Bacopa is another herb that helps improve protein synthesis in the brain cells. Studies have shown it to help improve brain functions and it is used in Ayurveda to improve cognitive functions which can deteriorate due to aging.You may also be interested in the following articles