(Foreword: This is the continuation of our reply to BB of Sasa about his desire to prevent memory loss and dementia.)
DEAR BB of Sasa,
I started the last time on taking you to ways on how to prevent memory loss and encouraging you not just on what you have already known by now.
But, also on getting more than the usual feeds that you get on preventing memory loss.
You have to remember that you can’t get those memory cells working by just playing crosswords or puzzles overnight. You have to play them like they are part of your system. You have to do them every day, if you can.
As I have just said, you have to do more. And these are the ways as found by the research which had been reviewed by an expert panel to have prevented memory loss and dementia as we age. Alright, let us count the ways and discuss them one by one.
1. Getting enough regular exercise
2. Managing blood pressure
3. Doing “brain training”
However, I have some not so good news for you. I would not want to call it bad, though. But, probably some news that you should be cautioned that those that I have just laid down above showed that in recent hundreds of randomized clinical studies, the evidence was not big enough and there is no proof that the strategies can really prevent brain disease. But, we can still bank on hope. We can hope that lifestyle changes could help prevent decline in thinking and memory. As long as there is still a flicker of hope, our dream of being and becoming better should not die down.
The truth is, preserving memory and thinking skills is very important.
Here in the Philippines, basing on the 2007 figures on Alzheimer’s from the National Statistics Office, there are 3.6 million elderly folk in the Philippines aged 65 and above, majority or 56.8 percent of them are women. Well, we expect more in the years to come.
In the United States, there are more than 5 million Americans now have Alzheimer's disease. By 2050, this could balloon to 16 million. The problem is at the moment, treatments are still out of reach, and there are no new drugs approved for more than a decade. There are drugs in the market today but, they may only help slow the disease but they are not a cure.
Oh, we are again running out of space, so, let me then, continue this in my next issue. Until then!
(Dr. Fritz Legarde Espedilla is an aesthetic dermatologist and surgeon and a clinical sexologist. She is also trained in hypnotherapy and Medical Acupuncture. She has been in the broadcast media for more than a decade and has written a book based on her 15 year stint with her radio program, “Healthy is Sexy Secrets ni Dr. Fritz.” She is also a faculty in a College of Pharmacy. For your questions, you may send them to Dear Dr. Fritz, c/o SunStar Davao Publishing Inc., Ebro-Pelayo Building, Jacinto St., Davao City, (former Department of Foreign Affairs office), across Ateneo de Davao University and beside Holy Child School of Davao, or you may e-mail them to email@example.com. If you don’t wish your letter to be published, we regret that we cannot answer them. Thank you for your understanding.)