Diet Plays Crucial Role in Cognitive Decline, Affecting Even Young Individuals: Experts

by Ella

As the march of time advances, dementia, often referred to as the “disease of forgetfulness,” becomes closely associated with aging. However, the specter of dementia does not discriminate solely based on age. Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent form of dementia, afflicts approximately 70-80% of those grappling with this cognitive disorder. To raise awareness and dispel misconceptions surrounding Alzheimer’s disease, World Alzheimer’s Day is commemorated annually on September 21.

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Day 2022, “Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s,” underscores the importance of recognizing warning signs and facilitating early diagnosis of this medical condition.


Dr. Amit Shankar Singh, a Neurology consultant at Fortis Hospital Mohali, provides insights into the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease.


Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of the brain characterized by brain atrophy and the death of brain cells. This ailment is marked by a decline in cognitive functions such as learning, memory, language, attention, motor skills, and social abilities. Consequently, Alzheimer’s has a profound impact on the daily lives of those affected.


The Scope of the Issue

Alarming statistics reveal that one in three elderly individuals succumbs to Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. It surpasses breast cancer and prostate cancer combined in mortality rates. This underscores the importance of comprehending the disease and fostering awareness.



While the precise causes of Alzheimer’s remain elusive, genetic inheritance stands as one of the primary contributing factors. Abnormal protein deposits, specifically amyloid protein and neuritic plaques, in the brain lead to the death of brain cells, further exacerbating the condition. Individuals above the age of 65 face a higher risk of Alzheimer’s, with women more frequently affected than men.

Recognizable Symptoms

The telltale signs of Alzheimer’s disease include:

Memory Impairment: The initial symptom is memory loss, which gradually worsens. This memory decline gives way to difficulties in thinking, reasoning, and comprehension.

Behavioral Changes: Patients grappling with Alzheimer’s may exhibit symptoms such as depression, confusion, and an inability to concentrate. They often become disoriented within their surroundings.

Speech and Language Difficulties: Alzheimer’s disrupts speech and language abilities, making it challenging for individuals to articulate meanings and comprehend, leading to further confusion.

Inability to Complete Daily Tasks: Slowed thinking and cognitive abilities hamper the performance of everyday tasks, increasing the patient’s dependence on others to communicate their needs.


Suspicions of Alzheimer’s disease should arise in any older adult experiencing a progressive decline in memory. Neurologists employ brain imaging, diagnostic tests, and mental assessments to detect the ailment and determine potential causes of cognitive impairment.

The Role of a Balanced Diet

While no foolproof methods exist to prevent Alzheimer’s, adopting a lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, meditation, maintaining a balanced diet, a healthy weight, and controlling blood pressure can promote brain health.

Preventive Strategies

Engaging in regular cardiovascular exercises can help delay cognitive decline.
Education plays a pivotal role in preventing cognitive deterioration, with individuals possessing higher educational qualifications being less susceptible.
Abstaining from smoking, alcohol, or other addictive substances is essential.
Stress management through counseling, problem-solving techniques, and yoga/meditation is advised.
Maintaining control over cardiovascular risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity is crucial.
Adhering to a healthy diet is considered one of the most influential factors in preventing cognitive decline, even among younger individuals.
Adequate sleep, comprising 6-8 hours of restful sleep, is vital for memory signal consolidation within neurons.



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