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Making proactive efforts to avoid early onset of dementia

13 Comments
Piko Taro Image: REUTERS file

Medical science is still awaiting discoveries that will pinpoint the cause, and bring about a cure, for Alzheimer's disease. Right now, however, the best we can say is that physicians who treat the disease are in general agreement regarding certain points, such as the need to prevent buildup of amyloid beta, the main component in amyloid plaques, extracellular deposits found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. (Although not yet conclusively established, a majority of researchers consider amyloid plaque is responsible for Alzheimer's.) 

Noting that some TV personalities, including Piko Taro (real name Kazuhito Kosaka, 49), have been showing indications of early-stage dementia, Flash (June 6) advises readers there are bad habits and practices they can and should rectify, and such proactive efforts may help to stave off cognitive decline.

The magazine has put together a list of 20 types of behavior and called upon Dr Hiroyuki Imano -- head physician at the Brain Care Clinic in Shinjuku Ward -- to provide advice and commentary.

"Along with aging per se, it's natural for forgetfulness to increase," says Dr Imano. "As long as these don't become hindrances to daily functioning, then it's probably not regarded as dementia. However, it's necessary to keep alerted to obvious early-stage symptoms.

"Dementia has the perception of being a condition that once diagnosed, one can never recover from," Imano adds. "But it is now understood that in many cases treatment and cure is possible via the ReCODE therapy method (an acronym for Reversal of Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's disease). In particular this applies to modification of daily activities and diet. It's basically a regimen to discourage the buildup of amyloid beta.

"Heeding these can work as a first step toward defense against dementia. And there's a good chance the tendency toward forgetfulness will be improved," he says.

How many of following items correspond to your lifestyle? Flash asks. And how many of them can you change or fix?

-- Purchased fewer than 10 items of apparel over the past year.

One important factor in preventing dementia is stimulation of the brain. It's a good idea to wear clothes of colors not previously worn, for instance, or to go shopping at new establishments.

-- Not meeting up with friends unrelated to work on days off

Citing results from a U.S. survey published in 2016, cases of dementia tended to be fewer among those engaged in work that brings them into contact with others. "We've seen cases where, because males' circle of acquaintances declines following retirement," says Dr Imano. The obvious solution is to make efforts to befriend people outside of one's own occupational field. 

-- Declining hearing

Hearing loss is said to approximately double the risk of dementia. This is because the brain receives less stimulation, and a person's ability to engage in communication declines.

-- Walking speed becomes slower than average for one's age

If your gait has slowed down, you need to make an intentional effort to change your method of walking.

-- Not enough sleep

Inability to achieve sufficient hours of deep sleep has been linked to forming of amyloid beta, raising the risk of dementia. Spending the whole day in bed on a weekend or holiday is also bad as this doesn't really make up for lost sleep.

-- Taking your smartphone with you into the toilet

It's believed this can disrupt the autonomous nervous system and raise the risk of early onset dementia, as is being increasingly found among members of the younger set.

-- Masturbating less than once a week.

Gotta keep up secretion of those male hormones, guys. So get with it.

-- Not brushing one's teeth at bedtime

Correlations have been observed between dental caries and amyloid beta levels. Dental hygiene should not be neglected.

-- Household members complain about your snoring

Maybe it's time to get tested for sleep apnea. Your brain can suffer damage when oxygen supply is cut off during sleep, also making you feel tired during the day.

-- Don't rely on juice or sweetened soft drinks to hydrate yourself.

Water, green tea or herb tea is better for you. And while you're at it, it's a good time to cut down (or eliminate) pastry and ice cream. 

-- Resist the urge for deep-fried foods

Saturated fats can cause inflammation within the body. The toxins present in some salad oils can also contribute to dementia and need to be avoided.

-- Smoking. Need we say more?

In addition to the big three of nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, cigarettes contain over 70 different carcinogens, many of which are believed to cause generation of amyloid beta. Smoking offers no benefits to the body whatsoever. It's time to give up the habit right away.

-- Eat more seafood

However, the meat from large fish like tuna and marlin in some cases might carry mercury, so they should be consumed in small quantities, if at all. Other sources of good-quality protein and minerals should be sought out.

-- Keep your bath clean

Watch out for growth of molds in the bathing area. If airborne molds enter the body, they can cause amyloid beta to increase. Keep your bathing area clean.

-- While you're at it, clean your AC too

Like those in the bathing area, molds can build up in your air conditioning unit. Seasonal cleaning is strongly advised.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
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Other than the first one about clothes, these suggestions are all right. Avoid sugar as much as you can. Try to eat starches and carbs only after eating fiber from veggies if you can.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Strange, they're encouraging masturbation and shopping, but nothing about avoiding alcohol...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

One important factor in preventing dementia is stimulation of the brain. It's a good idea to wear clothes of colors not previously worn, for instance, or to go shopping at new establishments.

Totally foolish advice. Who wrote it? A shopping mall?

Stimulating the brain is good. Do crosswords, mental activity, do research, learn new things.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Memorize your wife's shopping list (I do it twice, by total number and item) rather than writing it down. Fear of making a mistake is great motivation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think these are generally very good tips

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What does this have to do with the text you quoted? neither of those reason contradict the fact that the advice from the medical professional in the article can be summarized as having a healthy lifestyle. Neither the lack of cure or the full knowledge of the etiology are required to give this advice.

Sorry if my writing is too complex.

You misunderstand the entire article it seems, and you further are confused my my comment.

Just throwing out your non-medical based opinion to keep a lifestyle as healthy

and this is supposed to prevent dementia is ridiculous and shows a complete lack of knowledge of the science and medical fields.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strange, they're encouraging masturbation and shopping, but nothing about avoiding alcohol...

Long term alcohol abuse does carry its risks of brain deterioration, but it is a completely different boat from senile dementia and Alzheimer’s.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Magazine coverage of late seems to be constantly leaning toward managing health and personal finances in one's waning years. Nothing wrong with that, but I worry what magazines will write about, and who will read them, after the current generation passes on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Generally speaking the advice is just to keep a lifestyle as healthy as possible in all physical, mental and social aspects.

This is absolutely wrong.

As detailed in the article, it is still unknown what the cause of dementia is, and there is no known cure.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Generally speaking the advice is just to keep a lifestyle as healthy as possible in all physical, mental and social aspects. That doing this delays the accumulation of amyloid plaques is just a small side benefit compared with all the other effects on overall health. Still, if saying this can help with early onset dementia can convince people that hesitate into investing the effort to change their lifestyle then this can be a very good excuse to make the jump and finally doing it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sorry if my writing is too complex.

Not complex, just mistaken.

You misunderstand the entire article it seems, and you further are confused my my comment.

I gave specific reasons why your comment is mistaken, etiiology and treatment have nothing to do with the recommendations made by the medical professional.

You on the other hand only claim that other people could not understand the article without arguing how this is the case, this of course means there is no misunderstanding you could identify except your own.

Just throwing out your non-medical based opinion to keep a lifestyle as healthy

How is the article different from this valid representation? you have not given any argument of how this is wrong, just make the claim without proving it.

and this is supposed to prevent dementia is ridiculous and shows a complete lack of knowledge of the science and medical fields.

What evidence do you have that the recommendations made by the doctor of the article are ridiculous and that he has no knowledge of the science and medical fields? obviously you just claiming to know more than him is not an argument to do it. Dr Hiroyuki Imano at least has the credentials to support his professional opinion.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As detailed in the article, it is still unknown what the cause of dementia is, and there is no known cure.

What does this have to do with the text you quoted? neither of those reason contradict the fact that the advice from the medical professional in the article can be summarized as having a healthy lifestyle. Neither the lack of cure or the full knowledge of the etiology are required to give this advice.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Strange, they're encouraging masturbation and shopping, but nothing about avoiding alcohol...

That can be related to the complete lack of benefit and clear damages related to any amount of tobacco being consumed, for alcohol the evidence of brain damage comes from heavy consumption (abuse), so it is not as easy as saying that you should completely avoid it. Small quantities may not increase the risk for dementia.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

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