Cognitive Decline

Cognitive means having to do with thought, judgment, or knowledge. Cognitive decline is the decline or a decrease in the ability to concentrate, form ideas, reason, and remember. It is different from a learning disability in that it is occurs later in life and is most common after the age of 70. When it starts to affect the normal day-to-day activities, it is often called dementia. Cognitive decline can happen quickly, as a result of brain cell loss, injury, or can be a gradual process, as one gets older. It is not especially significant to death, but it greatly affects one’s quality of life and may become a burden to family members.
    There are a number of risk factors relating to the decline of the ability to think. The strongest risk factor is linked to the escalation of one’s age, but other medical conditions may apply, such as, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, or the elevation of cholesterol. Some lifestyle factors have been connected to cognitive decline like, the current use of tobacco products, lack of physical activity, and a reduced amount of mental or social stimulating activities and participation. Those that are at a higher risk for stroke, also have an increased chance for developing a form of cognitive decline.
    Some lifestyle choices to decrease these risk factors for cognitive decline may include controlling the current and future behaviors like, eating a healthy diet. Eating healthy consists of three or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day, as well as avoiding red meats. Eating red meats, such as, beef and lamb, have an effect on blood clotting properties, homocysteine levels, and triglyceride levels, which are closely related to the risks of heart attacks and strokes. Avoiding the use of tobacco products and second hand smoke greatly reduces the risk for cognitive decline for some. Stay away from smoky environments and do not smoke cigarettes or cigars. If smoking is a current behavior, quit it now for a healthy future....