Dementia (dementia) is an acquired memory decline syndrome accompanied by abnormalities in at least one cognitive domain, such as language, visual space, or executive function
Due to the advent of an aging population, approximately 35.6 million people worldwide suffer from dementia. This number is expected to double every 20 years. By 2050, the number of people suffering from dementia worldwide is expected to reach 135 million
A variety of diseases can cause dementia syndrome. Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia or mixed are common. A few factors include: Lewy body dementia, frontal lobe dementia, Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism and vitamins B12 deficiency
So far, because there is no effective way to prevent dementia in the elderly, it has brought a huge painful burden to patients and families.
For patients, dementia leads to cognitive and functional deterioration, behavioral complications, increased use of health and social services, and an increased risk of other comorbidities such as delirium, falls, car accidents, incontinence, fractures, and infections.
For family caregivers, dementia can cause financial and emotional stress, and 80% of family caregivers have chronic fatigue and depression.
One of the goals of treatment, especially in the early stages of the disease, is to promote independence and reduce functional decline
In empirical medicine, which health ingredients are helpful for dementia? See the following analysis
What are the health foods that are good for dementia?
Ginkgo biloba is a traditional Chinese medicine. Its standardized special extract EGb761 contains different types of flavonoid glycosides and terpenes.
It is generally believed that Ginkgo biloba extract has antioxidant activity, enhances the body’s tolerance to hypoxia, promotes microcirculation, affects neurotransmitter levels, enhances neuroplasticity, prevents brain edema and neuroprotection, and is widely used in various Diseases, including cognitive dysfunction, headache, tinnitus, dizziness, inattention, mood disorders, cardiovascular disease, and coronary heart disease
Oral ginkgo biloba extract preparation (EGb 761, 240 mg per day for 22 to 24 weeks) helps to improve the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and caregiver distress score
Improvement indicators include: depression, irritability, anxiety, aggression, abnormal motor behavior, apathy, sleep, night behavior, irritability and instability, but mental illness symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and elation/euphoria have not been significantly improved . Note 1
In addition, regarding the preventive effect, a meta-analysis (Meta-Analysis, including 2 studies, with a total of 5,889 participants) pointed out that Ginkgo biloba extract cannot prevent the occurrence of dementia. Note 2
＊Summary: According to the current evidence, Ginkgo biloba extract cannot prevent the occurrence of dementia, but for patients who have already experienced mental and behavioral symptoms, using Ginkgo biloba extract may bring positive help
Vitamin D (Vitamin D)
Vitamin D belongs to the steroid fat-soluble vitamin family and has a wide range of pleiotropic functions. Its active form can regulate the expression of about 1500 genes in various cell types through its vitamin D-related receptors
In addition to the well-known effects of promoting bone health and calcium homeostasis, more and more evidence shows that adequate vitamin D has new health benefits, such as regulating cell growth and differentiation, and regulating innate and adaptive immune function
Vitamin D deficiency can not only cause bone mineralization disorders, but also other metabolic, autoimmune, musculoskeletal, mental, infectious and tumor diseases
＊Conclusion: Insufficient or lack of vitamin D levels are related to the increased risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but more research is needed to confirm whether additional supplementation is helpful
omega-3 fatty acid
Omega-3 is an important polyunsaturated fatty acid, also known as “vitamin F”, roughly including: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid ( DHA).
EPA and DHA are commonly found in sardines, salmon, tuna, halibut and other seafood. ALA is found in flaxseed, rapeseed oil, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, perilla oil, and walnuts.
These fatty acids are stored in membrane phospholipids and are responsible for many cell functions, including the maintenance of cell membrane structure, fluidity, signal transduction, and cell-cell interactions.
＊Conclusion: On the whole, supplementation of omega-3 fatty acid is not significantly helpful for cognitive deterioration related to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and some benefits are only seen in early or specific genotype subjects
Studies have linked eating certain foods with a reduced risk of dementia, but Canadian researchers are taking this notion one step further: Matthew Parrott, a scientist at the PERFORM research centre at Concordia University in Montreal, and Carol Greenwood, a senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, are examining which combination of foods provides the best protection against cognitive decline. They are working on a Brain Health Food Guide that gives top billing to some staples of the Mediterranean diet, which has been linked to a 35 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Studies show that adults aged 50 plus who followed a similar eating plan for four years did not experience any memory loss,” Parrott says. There are short-term gains, too. “After only four months on this type of eating plan, adults performed as if they were nine years younger on reading and writing speed tests,” says Greenwood.