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  • Writer's pictureDr. Norm Dawson

Can You See What I See?

If you can’t, you may be a candidate for dementia/Alzheimer’s. Vision improvement may be one way to prevent some dementia. And vision impairment can often be easily modified with eye glasses or cataract surgery.

Hearing loss is the highest modifiable risk factor for dementia according to the influential Lancet Commission. Why would hearing and vision loss contribute to cognitive decline? “A neural system maintains its function through stimulation from sensory organs,” explained Dr. Rojas, a co-author of an accompanying editorial in JAMA Neurology. Without that stimulation, “there will be a dying out of neurons, a rearrangement of the brain,” he said.

The Lancet Commission identified 12 modifiable risk factors in a movement in 2017. A panel of scientists, doctors, epidemiologists and public health experts identified the modifiable risk factors that accounted for much of the world’s dementia. These risk factors can be modified with some basic lifestyle changes.

Researchers estimated that about 62 percent of current dementia cases could have been prevented. By changing our lifestyles we could reduce or eliminate dementia worldwide.

Whiz-bang, exorbitantly priced drugs are proving to be ineffective in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s according to a report from the New York Times. It seems that a different approach is needed. Amazing! How about that! A more natural holistic approach? How about using a behavioral approach instead of prescriptions? Imagine the possibilities?

In another article from the New York Times, New Dementia Prevention Method May Be Behavioral, Not Prescribed, the authors of the study hope that the Lancet Commission includes vision as one of its modifiable risk factors to prevent dementia.

As a chiropractor, I am delighted with this news. I believe becoming ambitious in making positive lifestyle changes is a much needed approach for many of our chronic health conditions. Lifestyle changes can lead to better quality of life.

Get your eyes and ears checked on a regular basis. Get an annual physical exam. Exercise. Be socially engaged. Maintain a healthy weight. Supplement your already good diet with high quality micronutirtion. The idea that we can do a lot about preventing demential is powerful!

Contact me for a list of the 12 modifiable risk factors in a 2 page PDF file.


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