Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

5 Steps You Can Take to Help Prevent Dementia

About 5.8 million Americans are living with dementia, and that number is expected to increase significantly over the next few decades. Dementia includes a group of progressive neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, which is probably the most common type of dementia, representing 60% of all dementia.

The 2nd most common type is vascular dementia, caused by cholesterol plaque and prevented by cholesterol medicines. This type causes 20% of all dementias.

The 3rd most common is FrontoTemporal Dementia, which is what Bruce Willis has. It causes shrinkage of the frontal and temporal lobes, with loss of speech and impulsive, rude comments. This occurs in 10% of people with dementia.

The 4th most common type is Lewy Body Dementia, the type that Robin Williams had. This represents only 4% of dementias and is characterized by hallucinations and severe Parkinson's Disease. 

The least common type is Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, which is the type Linda Ronstadt has. It is seen in about 1% of dementias. Patients with this disease have frequent falls and an upward gaze. 

Right now, there’s no known cure for dementia — but we do have medicines that can help slow it down. Also, research suggests that certain lifestyle choices and habits can help reduce your risk or delay the onset of cognitive decline. By adopting a proactive approach, you can make a difference in maintaining your brain health.

Our team at Russak Personalized Medicine specializes in dementia care, and we work with adults of all ages to prevent and manage memory issues. Here are five key steps you can take to help prevent dementia as you get older.

1. Get regular exercise

Regular activity is good for your whole body — including your brain. In fact, physical activity is linked to improved memory, attention, and cognitive function. That’s because exercise increases blood flow to your brain and promotes new neuron growth.

To reap the benefits for your brain, make a habit of getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week. Consider trying brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, and remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program.

2. Eat a healthy diet

Your diet also impacts your brain health. Eating a healthy diet can help lower your risk of dementia. Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats provide essential nutrients for your brain.

Fruits and veggies contain antioxidants that help protect your brain cells from free radical damage. For an extra boost, consider adding omega-3 fatty acids (naturally found in fish, nuts, and seeds) to further reduce your risk of cognitive decline.

3. Stimulate your brain

Challenging your brain with mentally stimulating activities helps build and maintain cognitive reserve and promote brain health as you get older. Make an effort to engage in hobbies and activities that require mental effort, like reading, doing puzzles, or playing a musical instrument to strengthen neural connections.

Social engagement is also important for a healthy brain. Maintaining an active social life can lower your risk of dementia. Consider joining a club, volunteering, or spending time with loved ones to provide mental and emotional stimulation.

4. Prioritize quality sleep

Sleep is essential for optimal cognitive function. When you sleep, your brain rejuvenates itself — and that means chronic sleep deprivation can increase your risk of cognitive decline.

To get better quality sleep, establish a regular sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine. Make your bedroom cool, dark, and comfortable. Limit your consumption of caffeine and electronic devices before bed and try practicing relaxation techniques, like deep breathing.

5. Proactively manage chronic conditions and other risk factors

Since your brain health is closely tied to overall health, managing chronic conditions is crucial in preventing dementia. Common conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol can increase your risk of cognitive decline. Fortunately, proactive management helps keep you healthier.

Our healthcare team partners with you to manage these conditions through medication, lifestyle modifications, and regular check-ups. Along with your physical health, we help you manage mental issues like chronic stress and anxiety to promote emotional well-being, too.

Lowering your risk of dementia requires a holistic approach — but you don’t have to navigate it alone. It’s never too early or too late to start taking steps toward better brain health, and our team at Russak Personalized Medicine is here to help.

Request your first appointment online, or call our Greenwood Village, Colorado, office at 303-317-5012 to get started.

Floyd B Russak MD 9/2020 Floyd Russak Floyd Russak grew up in Denver and graduated from Cherry Creek High School in 1973. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Northwestern U. in Chicago studying Music & Biology. He then went on to receive his M.D. degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he served on the team that treated President Reagan in 1981. Dr. Russak’s internship and residency training were completed at Harvard Medical School in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Dr. Russak then served on the Faculty of Harvard Medical School for 12 years and was the founder of Somerville Family Health, a 10-physician, 4-office multi-specialty practice in Boston, which he sold to Harvard in 1996. Dr. Russak founded and managed the Swedish SE Walk-In Center (DTC Family Health) from 1997-1999. He was Medical Director and/or Owner of East-West Health Centers, a 15-provider practice in Greenwood Village from 1999 until 2017, when he sold it to OnPoint Medical Group. He now owns and manages RPM Family Health in Denver.

You Might Also Enjoy...

4 Invaluable Benefits of Concierge Medicine

When you want a more specialized approach to health care, concierge medicine is an excellent choice. From more time with your doctor to same- and next-day appointments, the concierge approach is changing medicine.
Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed?

Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed?

Type 2 diabetes is linked to serious health complications, but if you have it, you can gain control and live a long, healthy life. Partnering with a skilled health care provider is essential for getting blood sugar under control and cutting the risk of com
The Dangers of High Blood Pressure

The Dangers of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure often shows no symptoms yet wreaks havoc on vital organs. The unseen damages of unchecked hypertension can change lives in the blink of an eye, making regular checks and proactive care paramount.