Guidelines for detecting the first symptoms of cognitive degeneration

Just as our body is not the same as we get older, the same happens with our mind. A) Yes, It is proper to grow older that our mental agility, memory or language are not the same as when we were 20 years old. Now, to this evolution of age there are times that what is known as the mild cognitive impairment (MCI): an intermediate stage between the cognitive impairment typical of having a birthday and the more severe impairment of dementia.

Mild cognitive impairment can involve problems with memory, language or thinking that are more pronounced than those that can occur with age, but they are not so serious as to significantly interfere with our daily lives. On the other hand, mild cognitive impairment may increase the risk of future dementia, caused by Alzheimer’s disease or another neurological disorder, although some people with MCI never get worse and some even improve over time.

What are the symptoms?

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There are a series of elements or symptoms that can help us become aware that we suffer from mild cognitive impairment (or that someone in our environment suffers from it):

  • Forgetting things more often than it may be usual and not attributable to a period of increased activity or stress.
  • Forget about important eventsIt’s like appointments or commitments.
  • Easier to lose the thread of conversations or thought, just as it becomes difficult to follow the plot of a book or a movie.
  • Every time it costs more to make decisions or plan something and it becomes overwhelming to have to do it. The same happens when following instructions since it is difficult to understand them.
  • Ddifficulty to locate in familiar surroundings and acquaintances.
  • Be more impulsive or even show a sense of reality less and less real.

As a consequence of suffering from mild cognitive impairment, we can present states of depression, irritability, anxiety or apathy because it is not always easy to accept the symptoms and live with them.

On the other hand, Researchers have linked diseases and lifestyle factors that can facilitate mild cognitive impairment such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, depression or lack of physical and mental exercise.

Prevent cognitive decline

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There are a series of habits that will facilitate the prevention of mild cognitive impairment (in addition to benefiting our physical and mental well-being). Physical activity is, of course, one of the habits that you cannot miss. And is that with exercise, blood flow to the brain increases significantly, which means that neurons are better oxygenated and nourished.

Therefore, we must regularly do physical activity adapted to our ability such as walking, moderate sport or exercises to improve mobility and bodybuilding. Moreover, also it is advisable not to abandon normal daily activities like the purchase, the house, etc. since it is good that the situation does not overcome us and face these actions even if it costs us more than before.

On the other hand, mental activity must not be neglected. For this, it is advisable to read, even a little, every day and keep ourselves informed of current events and what is happening in our community. In addition, it is good to do mental stimulation exercises such as hobbies or board games. It is also advisable to participate in cultural and leisure activities as well as not to leave the hobbies that we like. In this sense, it is never too late to start a new hobby or learn something new (for example, a language). The effort and attention that we will have to put into it will benefit to maintain an agile and healthy mind.

Another aspect to take care of are social relationships that we must promote to stay connected with our environment because isolation is an ally of cognitive decline. Here the care of our sight and hearing can play an important role so as not to put barriers at the time of relating.

And finally, follow a healthy and complete diet rich in fruits, vegetables, oily fish and nuts.