By Dr. Joey R. Gee, DO, FAHS/ January, 2017
As a practicing community neurologist who is routinely treating individuals who may suffer from cognitive disorders and dementia, I cannot stress enough the importance of lifestyle modifications for both family caregivers as well as the individuals.
Lifestyle modifications are an integral part of the treatment for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or another significant cognitive disorder. It is imperative to maintain good, continued health care because there are no successful medical options that actually prevent, halt, or slow down the progression of the disease itself.
The impact of exercise, diet and other lifestyle modifications is significant in the long-term treatment of those suffering from memory loss. This approach is especially true for the individuals concerned with developing Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive loss because of their family history. To date, numerous clinical reports have proved that exercise substantially improves the symptoms of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular problems. Being physically active can prevent disorders such as premature heart disease, hypertension, and stroke, conditions that are known to promote changes in the brain and lead to cognitive decline.
A sedentary lifestyle may also slow down the activity of the brain. Simple walking and other routine activities that lead to physical movement can be beneficial. Therefore, the young as well as the older population afflicted by cognitive impairment should perform physical exercise daily to the best of their abilities, even if there are limitations to their physical health. A doctor should be consulted to determine appropriate exercises for individuals with physical constraints.
A healthy diet is as important as exercise. Alzheimer’s experts emphasize a dietary regime focused on heart health, while limiting high cholesterol, high fat, and high sugar foods. The Mediterranean diet is considered to be a hallmark of brain health, as it contains antioxidant-rich ingredients, and nutrients necessary to maintain healthy function of heart and brain. In general, a diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, good fats, nuts, and white meat such as fish and poultry is considered to be healthy.
Exercise and diet are highly recommended to prevent further progression of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus – conditions that play a critical role in the development of dementia. Therefore, the practice of cognitive care based on diet and exercise is necessary on a daily basis for those at high risk of these disorders.
To book an appointment with Dr. Gee, CALL at 949-542-8002
For more information on brain health, visit:
Learn more about Alzheimer’s on www.alzoc.org
About Dr. Gee
Joey R. Gee is a neurologist at St. Joseph Mission Hospital. He is a Chief of Neurology and Director of Stroke Services, and Executive Co-Medical Director in Mission Neuroscience Institute. He is certified in Headache Medicine from United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties. Dr. Gee is also a diplomate at American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.