Prevention of Dementia


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Prevention of Dementia: In addition, some preliminary evidence suggests that estrogen; a hormone produced naturally in greater amounts in women than in men may help prevent dementia. This had not yet been proven, but is currently under study in the Women's Health Initiative-Memory Study, a large nation-wide clinical trial directed by Dr. Sally A. Shumaker at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. 1

Scientists are working to develop new drugs that someday may slow, reverse, or prevent the damage caused by Alzheimer's disease and multi- infarct dementia. In the meantime, people who have no dementia symptoms can try to keep their memory sharp.

Some suggestions include developing interests or hobbies and staying involved in activities that stimulate both the mind and body. Giving careful attention to physical fitness and exercise also may go a long way toward keeping a healthy state of mind. Limiting the use of alcoholic beverages is important, because heavy drinking over time can cause permanent brain damage.

Many people find it useful to plan tasks; make "things-to-do" lists; and use notes, calendars, and other memory aids. They also may remember things better by mentally connecting them to other meaningful things, such as a familiar name, song, or lines from a poem. 2

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from DEMENTIA: NWHIC
2. excerpt from Forgetfulness It's Not Always What You Think - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: July 1, 2003

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