Supporting Brain Function
Question: I have a family history of early onset cognitive impairment, is there anything I can do to reduce my risks?
Dr, Beatty: Absolutely there are steps that you should be taking. People often speak about dementia as unavoidable, but research has shown a few key factors contributing to the disease development. Understanding how dementia may be developing can help you to make changes that could prevent the disease.
Dementia occurs because of damage to certain parts of the brain, although genetics can increase risk, research has shown that inflammation is at the root of most dementia. There are certain nutrient deficits that can increase your risk of brain inflammation. Inflammation can also be triggered by certain environmental pollutants and head trauma.
One of the most potent brain anti-inflammatories available is an Ayurvedic herb called Brahmi (bacopa monnieri). Research has shown that this herb reduces acute and chronic brain inflammation to help reduce dementia risk. The real benefit of this herb is that it can also improve memory in healthy individuals, so it provides added nootropic effect while working to reduce dementia.
Vinpocetine, an extract of periwinkle is also worth consideration for prevention of dementia. It is a very potent anti inflammatory in the brain with minimal side effects. It also provides benefits for circulation which can help aid in reducing other disease risks. Vinpocetineâ€™s original clinical use is for improving recovery post stroke.