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Fighting Off Dementia

Updated on July 31, 2009

Worried About Dementia

My mother, age 64, has a particularly horrid type of dementia called Frontal Temporal Dementia (FTD) or Pick's Disease. Her particular variant involves Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). This disease is not mentioned nearly as often as Alzheimer's is. It gets very little attention in comparison. The disease typically has an early onset (between the ages of 40-65) and eventually leaves the victim almost totally or completely mute.

It is rare, but there are some cases in which the disease appears to have genetic roots. For this reason, I've spent hours upon hours researching what I need to do to reduce my chances for contracting it - or alzheimer's for that matter. The suggestions below are based upon conversations with my mother's neurologist and my many hours of research.

Fish Oil

 According to my mother's neurologist there have been recent studies suggesting at least 900 mgs of Fish Oil taken daily can help slow down the progression of dementia and aid in retaining one's memory. One such study is referenced here. It is for this reason I take Barlean's Fresh Catch© Fish Oil . It has an orange essense which does an excellent job covering up any of the nasty fish oil taste. I've bought fish oil several times in my life, but have never been successful in taking it regularly until now. The omega 3 oils in fish oil not only reverse the tide on memory, but the omega 3 fatty acids help reduce fatty deposits in the heart's arteries. There are also a whole host of other health benefits regarding taking Fish Oil that you can read about on If I had to choose one product to take and I had to stop all other supplements, this would be the one I'd continue to take daily since I rarely ever eat fish.

Vitamin B12 and Folate

Most people with dementia are found to be lacking in B12. Several studies show that B12 might just lessen the chances of developing dementia later in life. It is difficult for the body to readily absorb the microbe b12; therefore, I take it sublingually. This means I take a pill (berry flavored) that slowly dissolves under my tongue. Absorption of the natural B12 coenzymes can take place in the mouth and throat because active Vitamin B12 coenzymes are found in bacteria in the mouth and around the teeth. These coenzymes aid in the absorption- or bioavailability of B12.


Of course as we all know, exercise seems to improve most everything. That is certainly true in this case as well. It does, in fact, help reduce the risk of dementia in later years. Excercising at least 3 times a week seems to be what is required. Apparently, exercise is reducing the rate at which the brain shrinks according to one study. Want to read more on this topic? Click here.

Therefore, no matter how busy you are you should always take time out for yourself and your health. As a relatively new mom, I squeeze in several long stoller walks throughout the week. Walking or any other type of aerobic exercise such as swimming, running, jogging, skiing, dancing, and step-class should be used to reduce your risk of dementia, as well as improve your cardiovascular health.

Learning a Second Language or a Musical Instrument

The the structure of the human brain might be altered by the experience of acquiring a second language or learning to read and play music. For this reason, I will soon begin playing the flute again. The last time I played was in eighth grade, but I've been longing to play again for some time. To learn more about how music can prevent dementia, read this article. I choose not to try and learn another language because I've already taken Spanish, French, and Swedish over the years and very little of it stuck with me since I am not immersed in it. I am unsure if one would need to become fluent in another language in order to gain benefit from it cognitively.



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    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 

      8 years ago

      Very good info on a topic relevant to so many people!

      Thank you.


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