Brain and Cognition
Your brain is the most complex and the most important organ that you have in your body.
Unfortunately, memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are becoming more common. It is estimated is that by 2050 these conditions will affect more than half of the U.S. population over the age of 65 and be the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. Thankfully, we are learning that we have control over our brain health.
It is important to recognize that memory loss and dementia are not a part of normal aging. Healthy lifestyle habits can often prevent and even reverse the early signs of cognitive decline. Research has shown that rebalancing hormones, estrogen for women and testosterone for men, addressing oxidative stress, controlling systemic inflammation, establishing healthy relationships to food and exercise can all improve your memory and decrease the risk of developing dementia and other cognitive illnesses.
Getting regular checkups is one great way to prevent and catch memory loss early at a treatable stage. Additionally, there are many health conditions that cause cognitive decline that can masquerade as dementia. Examples of conditions that may imitate dementia include hypothyroidism, medication side effects or interactions, infectious diseases, head injuries, chronic urinary tract infections and even menopause. Even if you have a genetic predisposition to develop dementia, diet and lifestyle factors influence how your genetics are expressed and doctor’s visits can help you stay on track for taking steps to maintain and improve brain health.
NaturoMedica physicians are trained to investigate the underlying causes for a memory loss, rather than just treating the symptoms. An initial evaluation for memory loss or cognitive changes will include ruling out other conditions that cause the symptoms of cognitive decline.
The first step toward achieving optimal brain health is becoming aware of personal risk factors for neurodegenerative disease. Our NaturoMedica physicians sit down with patients and discuss important risk factors, which are often controllable such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle and personal genetics. The vast majority of those who die from dementia related disease have one or more of these major risk factors. More and more evidence suggests a correlation between the risk of dementia and lifestyle factors such as stress, high alcohol intake, lack of exercise, high carbohydrate diets and poor nutrition.
NaturoMedica offers testing and treatment to promote brain health. Tests that may be helpful include genetic testing, advanced cardiovascular and inflammatory marker testing, analysis of blood sugar control and hormone testing. Treatments may include diet and lifestyle changes, supplements and even medication. While there is no known cure for dementia, it is comforting to know that there are many options to help prevent cognitive decline.