“More than 16 million people in the United States are living with cognitive impairment,”
according to a CDC report. While age is the greatest risk factor for cognitive impairment, there are many other contributing elements, such as chronic stress and exposure to toxins. Cognitive impairment may also be caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and developmental disabilities. At this time, there is no cure for many of the diseases and conditions that cause cognitive impairment. The idea that your mind may fail, and nothing can be done to fix it, may be one of the most frightening things we can face.
Is there anything that can be done to prevent or slow cognitive decline?
Are there any promising cures being studied?
While there is not yet a cure, there are treatments for many of the diseases and conditions that cause or contribute to cognitive decline. Unfortunately, many of these treatments only manage the condition and merely slow the rate of cognitive decline or offer mild improvement in brain function. However, there are many preventative measures that can be implemented into your lifestyle. Stem cell therapy may also offer hope in the prevention or treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Cognitive Impairment
Forgetfulness. Everyone may experience forgetfulness at various times, especially when stressed or as they age, and this is not usually a cause for worry. However, if it is consistent or continually worsening then it is a cause for concern.
Forgetting important events
Frequently repeating the same story or question over and over again
Beginning to have problems finding your way around a familiar environment
Losing your train of thought
Difficulty following the thread of conversations, books, or movies
Feeling overwhelmed by making decisions
Understanding instructions or planning steps to accomplish a task becomes challenging
Changes in mood or behavior, including becoming more impulsive or showing increasingly poor judgment
Although age is the primary risk factor, genetics also play a part in your likelihood of displaying noticeable cognitive decline. Most other risk factors are related to medical conditions or lifestyle. Medical conditions include neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, stroke, brain injury, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, obesity, depression, vitamin B-12 deficiency, or an underactive thyroid gland. Chronic stress, smoking, physical inactivity, diet, exposure to toxins or pesticides, low education level, and infrequent participation in mentally or socially stimulating activities have all been linked to cognitive impairment.
Prevention and Treatment
Since there are so many possible causes and contributing factors, treatments vary for every patient. At the Temecula Center for Integrative Medicine, we provide in-depth diagnostic testing and use scientifically-based solutions to understand the underlying cause of your cognitive decline and create a personalized, unique care plan for you. Your care plan may incorporate a mix of Functional Medicine, Regenerative Medicine, and Lifestyle Education.