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.

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!

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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  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


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