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dementia and depression

Daily Habits That Can Lead to Depression and Dementia

Losing your memory or developing brain fog is not normal – it’s a sign of trouble. In an article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease depression and dementia have been linked with findings showing that brain SPECT imaging has the proven ability to distinguish depression or dementia in people with both with 83% accuracy.

One of the most important ways to decrease risk for depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease is to decrease all of the risk factors. Here we’ve outlined four risk factors to address to keep your mind healthy as you age.

Excessive Stress

Stress is a major risk factor for depression and dementia. Some major causes of stress include:

  • Taking care of a loved one with a mental illness or a parent with dementia.
  • Having a serious medical ailment like cancer.
  • Losing a loved one, either through death or divorce.

Whenever you’re exposed to a flood of stress hormones, it not only disrupts your sleep, but it can damage your immune system and shrink the memory centers in your brain. Since stress is everywhere, ALL of us would benefit from a regular stress management practice. Exercise and meditation can help, but another option is medical hypnosis which we have used with patients for many years.

Research has shown that medical hypnosis can:

  • Calm your emotional brain while helping with focus
  • Help break addictions
  • Treat depression, especially when it is combined with my ANT killing technique I’ll discuss in a future article
  • Be a powerful aid for sleep

Recently, a woman from Australia came up to one of our clinics and said she used our medical hypnosis program to help her fall and stay asleep.

Untreated Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Studies have shown that ADD is associated with low activity in an area called the prefrontal cortex, which acts as the brain’s brakes. It stops you from saying or doing impulsive things.

When the prefrontal cortex is low, people tend to be easily distracted and have trouble controlling themselves, making it very hard to stay on track and consistently make good decisions—even though they want to.

Amen Clinics has treated many patients experiencing memory issues. One of our patients was 94-years-old when she first came to the clinic. She couldn’t focus and could never finish reading the newspaper. A month after she started treatment, she told said with a big smile on her face that she had read her first book! Other patients are much younger, including one patient who was 50-years-old.

Infrequent Exercise

If you exercise less than twice a week it increases your risk of dementia, but you can eliminate that risk today by exercising more than twice a week. Walk like you’re late for 45 minutes, 4 to 5 times a week and lift weights twice a week. The stronger you are as you age the less likely you are to get dementia and, in fact, it could save your life. Also, exercise can be very effective for combating depressive symptoms.

Absence of New Learning and Addiction to Technology

No new learning or being addicted to your email, text messages or video games increases your risk of dementia and depression. In one study sponsored by Hewlett-Packard, people who were addicted to their gadgets lost 10 IQ points over a year. It was more harmful than smoking marijuana, which also decreases IQ. You can decrease these risk factors TODAY by limiting your gadgets and adding mental exercise to your life.

Your brain is like a muscle, the more you use it in positive ways, the more you CAN use it. You have to work out your whole brain.

  • Word games or learning a language can stimulate the left front part of the brain.
  • Laughter stimulates the right side and can boost creativity.
  • Learning a musical instrument can boost your temporal lobes and help with memory.
  • Learning new dance steps and playing table tennis can strengthen your cerebellum and help you with processing speed.

Work out your brain for at least 15 minutes a day!

If you’re ready to take control over your future, call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.

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COMMENTS

  1. Anne says:

    Which medical hypnosis program would be best for sleep?

  2. Maryse says:

    Dear Dr Amen for the past twelve years or so I have been on Effexor for acute anxiety I pace day and night with extreme depression and an overwhelming feeling of dread intense anxiety and overall feeling of doom. I was on 150 mg now am on 235 mg plus Xanax 20mg to help me stay calm and focused I have been on extreme stress especially this past year having gone through five unexpected painful deaths and surgery for dysphasia on my uterus and now my feet will have to be operated on as well including my knees which have lost all cartilage and ligaments and tendon. Needless to say I am overwhelmed and mentally exhausted. I also take care of my 59 year old schizophrenic and bipolar brother 24/7 my father has dementia and my mother takes care of him with my sister who is also mentally exhausted. We have a rigorous lifestyle our spouses work 7 days a week my oldest son is out of work lives in the city with his wif e who only works part time with a toddler whom I have babysat two days a week and have to drive 1 1/2 hrs to go to and come back two days later to where I live on LI and I clean houses for a living.Despite all of this I stay active as much as I can am very limited with exercise since I cannot walk properly it’s bone on bone for me despite my taking shots of some meds by my orthopedic doctor I am riddled with arthritis and it’s extremely painful to do anything physical for too long. But I manage somehow I pray and I cry and I go to church for comfort but I am at my breaking point. I am very forgetful I take vitamins certain natural minerals and I eat healthy drink lots of electrolyte water and do puzzles when at home. I don’t watch tv during the day at all only a few hours at night then I go to sleep when I can sleep. I’m up to use the bathroom frequently during the night although my doctor is aware of all this she can only do so much I am on meds right now for a throat ailment I fought from the hospital due my surgery I am taking steroids for ten days and antibiotic for it since it caused an infection for a month I could not shake, I am 62 years old will be63 in September this year. I am forgetful at times I truly don’t remember certain things and events and then after quite some time I tend to remember but can’t make heads or tails about why I can’t remember to begin with and get extremely annoyed at myself and life in general even God for letting this happen. I had a head injury serious one when I was a young girl my father was driving and had to stop very suddenly to prevent an accident and my brother who is schizophrenic and I were the only two in the car and both of us got injured me more than him. I almost lost my right eye which now my vision has declined as well. Do you think all this has anything to do with my debilitating symptoms and although mental illness runs in my father’s family I am so afraid it may be what’s happening to me my husband thinks it’s the case but my doctor doesn’t. I don’t know what to think I am scared and am very limited in budget so I can’t even afford a brain scan but I do have health insurance through the NY State of health and I don’t know if you would take it in order to get a brain scan. Please Sir, if you could help me out somehow so I can find out what is happening to me I’d appreciate it greatly.
    Thank you
    Mrs Maryse F Kocher

    • Maria says:

      Amen Clinics: Pls tell me you helped Maryse! Tough tough situation! I’m overwhelmed for her

    • Amy says:

      Dearest Maryse,

      I just happened to see your post and wanted to tell you that I am praying for you. I am so sorry for all the stress you have been under and it breaks my heart that you suffer the way you do. I am praying for you and I know that God is able to give you the comfort you need. Sometimes it feels like no one on the earth understands but that is a lie from the enemy. Hold onto God and be sure to spend some time in His Word for the comfort you need. I love you in Christ and I will meet you one day in heaven. Until then, just know that I am lifting you up in prayer and trusting that God will calm your heart and bring you the peace you so desperately need. Hang onto God with everything in you and He will be with you every step of the way. I am praying for you and trusting God to deliver you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Receive His peace and rest in Him. I am praying for you.
      Amy

  3. Samantha Bogden says:

    I had the scans at the Amen Clinic. Paid big bucks for my friend and I. I’m still crazed and no improvement!!!!

    • Legs Jackson says:

      Hi, Samantha, I took my Mother to the Reston, Virginia, clinic so I know what they do – the extensive questionnaires they asked me about her before we went to the clinic before the actual scan, the actual scan, and the extensive report that gave us about everything. I am very sad for you that you are “still crazed and no improvement.” Did you work with the director of the Amen Clinic office you went to. The Reston director was fabulous. Have you removed all chemicals from your environment – washer, dryer, floors, furniture, water, air? You cannot spray Febreze on stuff – full of chemicals. Not good for you or your pets. Do you sit in front of your computer and/or TV for many hours? All of the things I just listed can overstimulate you in many ways so you do become crazed. Do you have fluorescent lights in your house? The way the ballast in them flickers can stimulate the brain through your eyes and make you crazed. You might take the bull by the horns and read some of Dr. Amen’s great books. I guess I am just saying that as a Wellness Coach I would have you go through everything and anything to find the cause. The world is complex, and we are complex. Sometimes the two worlds do not work well together, and we suffer for it. I hope you find some answers. Karen

    • Emily says:

      Having the scans in and of itself won’t give any improvement. Have you followed all the treatment suggestions that you received?

    • Gail says:

      Did you complete all the treatment

  4. Donalda says:

    Good Morning,

    I am wondering if the Brian HQ exercises, PositScience, would be beneficial as brain exercises.

    I would appreciate your response.

    Thanking you,

    Donalda

  5. Carolyn Bradley says:

    Maryse,
    Your plate is so full. I keep learning because my 14 yr old is like your brother and her dad (my ex) is ill also. The MI runs strong in his genetics. My daughter has been pestering me to do the ancestry genetic test. We finally did 23andme and I am so glad because you can load the results into geneticsgenie.org and find out what genes might be mutated.Looks like my fibromyalgia and my daughter’s illness are from the mutated and ineffective gene called MTHFR (plus some numbers). It means we don’t have the ability to convert vitamin B12 into methylate … or something like that …methylation of folate/folic acid. But you can buy vitamin B12 already methylated. See methylpro.com. Also, for MED selection, look up Genesight.org (or .com, I can’t remember which, haha). Another thing to consider is the weightloss coffee I found that relieves my fibromyalgia, believe it or not (believe me, I am shocked; 30 years of pain, fatigue and brain fog, managed by a weightloss coffee…it appears to be all natural and safe). I decided to market it, I might as well recover some of the financial loss from FM, right?! You can ask for me, Susanne, at FB group Fibromyalgia Fellowship or just order the Optimum coffee (for fatigue), the Keto Creamer for the brain fog and the Max vitamin spray for the pain (which will probably work on any inflammation, but it does not relieve my torn rotator cuff or bursitis pain, so it has its limits). Maryse, you might learn the Listening prayer, much like meditation, if you don’t already do that. God has been overt with me and let me know that He is present, cares and, quite honestly has done small but impactful things in my life that have increased my faith and assisted my life, which like yours is filled with giving. Idk how God works, but I am grateful and I pray that you (& other readers) find healing and that deep connection with God (which you may already have; not judging; not comparing) that brings further faith and ability to give. May God grace you overtly and relieve yours and your loved ones ailments. (PS- Listening prayer aka…Silence prayer, Centering Prayer)
    Peace be with you all! Shalom!

  6. Barbara says:

    Food is a huge factor in all of this..Great article..And Yeah, with my brain injuries everything heightens, but brain inflammation occurs from the wrong foods as well, like sugar, gluten..I was on Effexor, Wellbutrin..got off all that..Learning to breath..and it can change a Spec Scan since it shows blood flow and activity..Wheat and soy can slow down things as well as meds..Dr Amen does have articles on this as well..Great resources are available, and his books..Sometimes it is looking at your lifestyle as well because no one is a cookie cutter cutout..Perception as well as your make up makes you..That is why we are unique individuals..I ripped myself apart to start building again along with researching about what I am dealing with..You match you with that, what you need..Anyone can get better, but it takes you knowing you..Drs can give a tool to use, but we all have to figure out what works for us..

  7. Gia says:

    My heart breaks for Maryse, I’m glad s few people responded to her but I don’t see any response from Amen clinic-shocker! There are so many people that need help but these places only care about how much money they can extract from you! I’m not saying people should work for free but not even a response! There are not many humans with any humanity left! Disgusting

  8. ROSEMARY says:

    DEAR MARYSE,

    GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF JESUS. I JUST HAPPENED TO READ YOUR LIFE STORY. IT’S A HEAVY LOAD FOR YOU TO CARRY. WHY NOT “LAY IT DOWN AT THE BOTTOM OF JESUS CROSS. I HAVE ONLY THREE WORDS WHICH FOR SURE WILL HELP YOU AND YOUR SITUATION: PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. THAT’S ALL THAT YOU NEED, “LORD, HELP ME.” NO NEED FOR SO MANY WORDS IN ORDER TO BE HEARD. THE LORD KNOWS WHAT YOU ‘RE GOING THROUGH. HOWEVER, HE STILL NEEDS YOU TO ASK HIM FOR HIS HELP…ASK- “JESUS HELP ME, PLEASE”. HE WANTS YOU TO ASK HIM A SPECIFIC NEED FOR HIM TO HELP YOU..IS IT HEALING FROM YOUR ILLNESS? IS IT STRENGTH TO SURVIVE IN ALL YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES, IS IT THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WILL BE ALL HEALED? ASK YOUR OVERBURDENED HEART: WHICH ONE IS WHAT YOU WANT HIM TO HELP YOU WITH?

    HAVE FAITH AS HE SAID “COME TOME ALL WHO LABORED, I WILL GIVE YOU REST.” THEN REST IN HIM…THAT’S ALL WHAT YOU NEED..HIS HELP… NOTHING MORE. THEN EVERYTHING ELSE WILL FOLLOW WHICH LIKE HAVING B6 AND B12 (COMBINED FOR MEMORY LOSS. ) I AM A CANCER SURVIVOR AND HAVE SHORT TERM MEMORY TO WORRY ABOUT WHICH WAS NEVER A PROBLEM FOR ME BEFORE CHEMO. TAKE B6 AND B12 COMBINED (jAMIESON BRAND) YOUR MEMORY WILL COME BACK. I AM STILL USING IT AND THANK GOD, MY MEMORY HAS IMPROVED SO MUCH! ONCE YOU HAVE DONE WITH THE LORD’S”HELP”..THANK HIM AS WELL. SAYING GRATITUDE TO GOD WHETHER YOU ARE A STAUNCH BELIEVER OR NOT YOU’LL FIND YOURSELF AND YOUR SITUATION IN A MUCH BETTER PERSPECTIVE. GRATITUDE IN PRAYER IS A SURE ANTIDOTE TO OUR ANXIETY AND MUCH PERPLEXED, OVERWHELMING SITUATION WE ALL ARE IN…ONLY IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS. MEANWHILE YOU ARE IN MY PRAYER! BLESSINGS TO YOU, MARYSE.

  9. Aishwarya says:

    Please send more articles on OCD and how to deal with it.

  10. Holly says:

    Rest Assured AMEN clinic Staff very likely responded to Maryse, but they would not do so on a public forum. Remember, in the healthcare industry there is the utmost confidentiality and this comment section is not an open blog for providers to treat patients. Just know that the AMEN clinics would respond DIRECTLY to any patient they’ve treated, and reach out to many who ask for help on this forum.

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