Dementia is commonly associated with memory loss diseases. There are many things that lead to Dementia such as high blood pressure or trauma to the brain. You also experience memory loss and can have other symptoms like the inability to focus or pay attention to someone, your judgement and ability to problem solve is slower. Some people even suffer with language or have issues with communicating with others.
Dr. Luqman Lawal explains Dementia this way, “Dementia occurs when once-healthy neurons in the brain stop working, which results in a loss of cognitive functioning. This lack of ability to problem solve and remember things that have happened to them, affects their everyday routine.” Because Dementia is so common there are ongoing studies on the different possibilities for things that are linked to Dementia.
- Hearing Loss- A study at the John Hopkins School of Medicine found that hearing loss could be linked to early signs of Dementia. “When you have hearing loss your brain has to work hard to compensate for the lack of auditory input,”Dr. Lawal says. “When this continues for many years and people don’t get help for their hearing loss, the brain can weaken which increases the likelihood of developing dementia.”
- Herpes– As researchers found in a recent study, those with the herpes virus were 2.5 times more likely to develop dementia than those who did not.
- Always feeling sleepy during the day-“Feeling excessively sleepy during the day is a common symptom of several sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea. According to the study, people who said they often felt sleep during the day were about three times more likely to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain. Although researchers can’t say for sure that sleep disorders cause Alzheimer’s disease, there is a link there that’s worth exploring for future studies.”
- Consuming too much sugar- “In a 2018 study published in the journal Diabetologia, researchers observed over 5,100 adults over 10 years. People who had higher blood sugar levels had faster rates of cognitive decline than those with more normal levels. According to the Alzheimer Society, dementia is sort of like a type of diabetes of the brain. The brains of people with both diabetes and dementia are similar in the way that glucose is not properly used in the brain. When this happens, it can reduce the brain’s ability to function as it should.”
- Air pollution- A 2017 study from the University of Southern California found links between air pollution and dementia in older women. They discovered that tiny air pollution particles, that mostly come from power plants and cars, can get inside the body through the nose and then travel into the brain. Breathing in toxins can increase inflammation in the body. If someone were to have the Alzheimer’s gene, too much exposure over time to those toxic particles can “exacerbate and promote” the disease. According to researchers, the adverse affects were found to be much stronger in older women who had the gene. More research still needs to be done to confirm that air pollution really does cause dementia. But if it does, researchers say air pollution could possibly be the cause for over 20 percent of dementia cases.
- Your sense of smell- “A 2016 study published in the journal Annals of Neurology, found a link between a person’s sense of smell and Alzheimer’s disease. As researchers found, participants who were unable to correctly identify certain odors such as menthol, strawberry, and lemon were the ones at risk for having the disease. This led researchers to believe that one’s poor sense of smell can possibly be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.”
- Loneliness- “A 2018 study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences analyzed data of over 12,000 people over 10 years. As researchers found, people who reported to having greater feelings of loneliness were 40 percent more likely to get dementia. Although there’s not just one clear explanation as to why, researchers say some people may cope with feelings of loneliness by engaging in behaviors that can damage the brain like binge drinking of being sedentary.”