Wednesday, December 02, 2020 by Zoey Sky
Maintaining heart health is crucial to your overall well-being. But did you know that keeping your heart healthy is also key to boosting your brain health?
Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide while dementia is fifth.
However, while “Alzheimer’s disease” and “dementia” are used interchangeably, the two refer to different conditions. Most cases of dementia refer to vascular dementia, or “the decline of cognitive function due to the interrupted or inadequate circulation of blood to the brain.”
If you combine the death rates from stroke and from vascular dementia, the total number of deaths in America is exceeded only by the death rates from heart disease and cancer.
Compared to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is more complicated. Even though there have been many studies on the condition, experts have yet to determine an effective way of preventing Alzheimer’s.
Fortunately, you can make lifestyle changes to prevent vascular dementia.
And the good news doesn’t end there. According to scientists, there is more proof of an association between vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Yet even if this alleged link doesn’t pan out, you can still benefit from adopting lifestyle changes that will help prevent vascular brain injury. Instead of aiming to treat a stroke, improve your heart and brain health by focusing on prevention.
As Dr. Joshua S. Yamamoto advised a patient, “the best way to treat a stroke is to prevent it.” He also emphasized the importance of being proactive to prevent a stroke. (Related: B vitamins are CRUCIAL to heart health, brain health and eye health.)
Strokes should be prevented because they can kill you. And even if you don’t die after suffering a stroke, you will be left a shell of your former self.
Yamamoto, a former Navy doctor who served in Kuwait as a cardiologist for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a practicing invasive-preventive cardiologist. He works with thousands of patients older than 65 and most of them are worried about the same problems: Disability and loss of their physical and mental function.
Strokes can be big, but they can also be small and cumulative. This means that “you can slowly lose working brain cells over time from interrupted or inadequate blood flow to the brain,” which is the essence of vascular dementia.
Yamamoto admits that even with many technological advances, the brain remains a mystery to many health experts. But if you want a healthier brain, he suggests feeding it, especially if you’re older. A healthy brain requires a regular, reliable and adequate blood supply, which means having effective circulation.
Detailed below are six simple but important things you can do to help improve circulation and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke if you’ve never had one.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Change your lifestyle habits to boost your heart and brain health.
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