Are you concerned your memory isn’t as good as it used to be?
One of the most common comments I hear from my patients is their memory isn’t as good. Typically, I will say, “me too,” and we will laugh about the downside of accumulating more birthdays.
But the issue is an important one. Forgetting where you parked the car is one thing, but what if it gets worse? What if it leads to you not being able to live independently – or not recognizing your family and loved ones?
Those are concerns for most of us as we get older for a reason.
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Dementia is on the rise – someone gets diagnosed with dementia every 3 seconds. Currently, there are 50 million people with dementia, and it is predicted there will be 150 million by 2050.
But here is the critically important thing to know. You are not powerless when it comes to getting dementia.
In fact, as much as 40% of all dementia is preventable. And one of the most powerful ways to prevent dementia is to control your blood pressure.
A recent study added more weight to the importance of blood pressure and dementia. High blood pressure – defined as a blood pressure greater than 130/80 mm Hg, or even mildly high blood pressure (blood pressure between 120-129/less than 80 mm Hg) is associated with a faster decline in brain function and memory.
This is particularly concerning because almost half of adults have high blood pressure – about 1 billion people worldwide. Still, the study results also give hope for those who are controlling their blood pressure.
In this study, those who treated their blood pressure were able to slow down cognitive decline.
We know controlling your blood pressure is critically important to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, but there is even more benefit.
Controlling your blood pressure also lowers the risk of dementia and the decline of memory and thinking ability.
Especially important because our treatment options for dementia are limited. An expert panel states this point by calling blood pressure medications “the only known effective preventive medication for dementia.”
It can be easy to dismiss high blood pressure. It often doesn’t cause symptoms, yet the long-term consequences are potentially devastating.
Don’t let this happen to you.