Unlocking the Mind: The Keys to Prevention and Management of Mild Cognitive Impairment
Forgetfulness is a normal part of the aging process, but what happens when cognitive decline goes beyond just forgetting where you put your keys?
Consistent decline of mental performance may indicate that something more than just aging is affecting the way your brain functions. The explanation may be mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a stage in-between the normal forgetfulness that comes with aging and the more serious decline into dementia. With this condition, issues with memory, language, judgment and thinking will be noticeable to you as well as family and friends.
Symptoms of MCI may include:
- Apathy to people or situations
- Easy derailment of your train of thought
- Feeling overwhelmed when making decisions, planning or following directions to complete a task
- Forgetting things frequently, such as important events or social engagements
- Impulsive decision making, such as spontaneous purchases
- Showing poor judgment
Keeping MCI at Bay and Under Control
When considering measures to reduce or avoid the risk of developing MCI and other cognitive conditions, here’s a good rule of thumb: What’s good for the heart is good for the brain. Studies have shown that risk factors for cardiovascular disease may also be risk factors for developing disorders, such as MCI, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, in order for your heart to provide your brain with the nutrients and oxygen it requires, your heart needs to be working at a full and healthy capacity. In fact, your brain relies on 20 percent of your blood for nourishment and oxygen.
Therefore, many lifestyle choices that are optimal for heart health may be vital to the health and function of your brain. These choices apply to brain and heart health in both a preventative as well as a management capacity (in the event you’ve already developed MCI or another cognitive condition).
What We Recommend
Studies indicate our cognitive health and function may be preserved or managed by making the following lifestyle changes:
- Develop healthier eating habits: Coined the Alzheimer’s Diet by some, the following dietary choices may be ideal for prime cognitive health:
- Anti-inflammatory foods, including turmeric, onions and mushrooms
- Antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries
- Healthy fats and oils, like olive oil
- Lean proteins, such as turkey
- Low glycemic (low sugar) and high fiber fruits and veggies, like grapefruit and broccoli
- Omega-3 heavy foods, such as fish
- Exercise: Regular physical exercise has been shown to prevent or slow cognitive decline by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. Talk with your physician to create a regimen that works best for you
- Increase your social activity: Some studies have indicated that increasing social activity may preserve function and slow down decline of mental faculties
- Keep your mind stimulated: Participating in activities, such as reading, playing video games or working on puzzles, may also aid in keeping and maintaining cognitive function
How Can Montclair Memory Clinic Help With MCI?
Montclair Memory Clinic is a comprehensive center for evaluating, diagnosing and treating MCI and other cognitive disorders. After a thorough assessment, our specialists will work with you and your caregivers to create a customized treatment plan designed to meet your individual needs.
Our clinic is dedicated to restoring cognitive function and improving overall quality of life through various advanced techniques, bringing peace of mind to you and your loved ones.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Montclair Memory Clinic today.