A few episodes of memory lapses such as forgetting an appointment or where the car is parked is normal for everybody, especially those who are getting older. When you have too many preoccupations or are anxious about something, you should not punish yourself for forgetting to buy cheese for the spaghetti or not remembering where you placed your car keys. However, you should start to worry when there is already a pattern of forgetfulness and when your friends or family members start to comment on the frequency of your memory lapses because you may already be displaying symptoms of mild cognitive impairment.
What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment?
Mild cognitive impairment, also known as benign senescent forgetfulness, is a disorder wherein nerve cells responsible for specific cognitive functions or abilities such as memory, language, reading, attention, judgment, and writing are damaged. However, many experts believe that most MCI sufferers display impairment in the area of memory.
If your friends or family start to notice that you are displaying a pattern of forgetfulness, such as perpetually forgetting your appointment with your dentist or missing the exit you are supposed to take to reach home, you should visit a neurologist or psychiatrist immediately. Remember, MCI cases can lead to more serious disorders if left untreated for a long time.
What Are The Different Types Of Mild Cognitive Impairment?
There are two classes of MCI: amnestic, the one which affects the memory and may eventually lead to Alzheimer's; and non-amnestic, which affects cognitive abilities other than memory and could develop into dementia or primary progressive aphasia. Research show that about 12% of individuals over 70 suffer from this disorder and about 3-4% of MCI cases eventually lead to Alzheimer's disease.
What Causes This Disorder?
Aside from trauma or previous serious injury to the brain, MCI usually develops because of several underlying causes. Depression, extreme stress or other psychiatric conditions that can affect mood, memory and concentration; degeneration of brain cells; and problems involving the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the brain can all lead to the development of mild cognitive disorder. People who have extremely high or low blood pressure are also at high risk of having MCI in the future.
What Must Be Done To Prevent The Development Of MCI?
In spite of all the technological breakthroughs that our generation is enjoying in the field of medicine, an ounce of prevention is still definitely a lot better than cure. Why would anyone risk having a degenerative condition, which can lead to very serious problems, when there are various ways to prevent the disorder? Here are some ways that can lower your risk of having MCI:
Address Your Blood Pressure Problems
One of the first things that you can do to help prevent MCI is doing something to normalize very high or very low blood pressure. There are actually many therapies and drugs that can help you address your blood pressure problems.
Make Necessary Lifestyle Changes
Studies have shown that people who are active physically, socially and mentally are less likely to have MCI when they grow older. If you want to lower your MCI risks, then you need to ensure that you exercise regularly. Swimming, brisk walking and other forms of cardiovascular activities can actually help produce new brain cells.
Aside from physical exercises, you should also start developing the habit of reading a lot, playing puzzles, and solving problems and mathematical equations in your head. Finally, learn how to manage stress properly and increase your social activities, such as going out with friends, dining out with family, or helping out with various outreach programs.
Mind Your Diet
Eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, instead of junk and processed foods, is beneficial not only to the health of your body, but to the health of your mind as well. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C, which are needed to help restore cells in your brain. You can also take supplements that contain ginkgo and other herbs that are known to help improve cognitive functions. One product that is especially designed to provide nutrients needed by the brain is Neurovar. If you are interested in knowing more about this supplement, just visit www.neurovar.com.
Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premiere online news magazine http://www.healthnfitnesszone.com