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Aging & Dementia

Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember which is great enough to affect a person's daily life. Other common symptoms include emotional and language problems, difficulties with thinking and problem-solving and a lack of motivation. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behavior, but their consciousness is usually not affected. Dementia can be caused by brain cell death or neurodegenerative diseases. The most common neurodegenerative disease causing dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.


Dementia is one of the most common causes of disability among the old, and as more people are living longer, dementia is becoming more common in the population as a whole. About 10% of people develop the disorder at some point in their lives. About 3% of people between the ages of 65–74 have dementia, 19% between 75 and 84 and nearly half of those over 85 years of age.

People with dementia are often physically or chemically restrained to a greater degree than necessary. Social stigma against those affected is common.

 

Causes of Dementia

Dementia can be caused by brain cell death or neurodegenerative diseases where progressive brain cell death happens over time. Dementia can also be caused by a head injury, a brain tumor, or a stroke that damages the brain tissue.  The specific symptoms that someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing dementia.  

Factors such as high blood pressure, lack of physical exercise and smoking, all of which lead to narrowing of the arteries increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.  

Dementia is becoming more common in the population as a whole.

 

Alzheimer Disease

The most common neurodegenerative disease causing dementia is Alzheimer’s disease but in this disorder, it is not clear that dementia is caused by the brain cell death or causes the death of brain cells. Alzheimer makes up 50% to 70% of cases of dementia. In Alzheimer’s disease, an abnormal protein surrounds the brain cells and another protein damages their internal structure. In time, chemical connections between brain cells are lost and cells begin to die. Problems with day-to-day memory are often the first thing to be noticed, but other symptoms may include difficulties finding the right words, solving problems, making decisions, or perceiving things in three dimensions.

Problems with day-to-day memory are often the first thing to be noticed.

 

 

DEMENTIA TIED TO CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS

Dementia is highly associated with sleep disorders and circadian rhythms disruption. Regulating the circadian rhythms and sleep can be of great help to individuals with dementia. There is no known cure for dementia, but efforts can prevent dementia include trying to decrease risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and obesity.

A healthy lifestyle, especially in mid-life, can help reduce the risk of dementia:  

  • Well balanced and entrained circadian rhythms  

  • Regularly scheduled quality sleep

  • Regular eating habits, the timing of meals

  • Regular physical exercise

  • Maintaining a healthy weight  

  • Not smoking

  • Drinking in moderation or no alcohol

  • Eating a healthy balanced diet low in saturated fat, reduce salt, sugar and red meat. Include plenty of fish, starchy foods, and fruit and vegetables

  • Keeping mentally and socially active into later life  

A person who is already living with conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure or high cholesterol should follow professional advice to keep their condition under control. Getting early treatment for depression is extremely important.

 

 

 

 

 

Dementia is highly associated with sleep disorders and circadian rhythms disruption.

Aging, Dementia, and Melatonin

The production and secretion of melatonin in the brain during darkness plays a pivotal role in physiological responses including regulation of circadian rhythms. Melatonin is a free radical scavenger, the most potent antioxidant, an immunomodulatory agent, and an active neuroprotective hormone against several degenerative disorders.

One of the causes of the progressive and irreversible destruction of specific neural populations is an oxidative injury. This results in an imbalance between free radical formation and anti-oxidative mechanisms. Therapeutic trials with melatonin confirm its potential therapeutic value as a neuroprotective drug in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS and Huntington’s disease.

Oxidative damage has been suggested as the primary cause of aging and age-associated neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease

Melatonin emerges as unique for several reasons: it is a natural compound synthesized in the pineal gland and other body tissues it can be released by the pineal gland via the pineal recess into the cerebrospinal fluid, in much higher concentrations than into the circulation. The production of melatonin decreases with age, which might suggest a major predisposing factor in neurodegenerative diseases.

Studies indicate that exposure to bright artificial light sources such as electric lights, electronic screens, TV screens, and LED lighting at night suppresses the timely production and secretion of melatonin in the brain.

 

Melatonin is a free radical scavenger, the most potent antioxidant, an immunomodulatory agent, and an active neuroprotective hormone against several degenerative disorders.

 

 

 

 

 

The production of melatonin decreases with age, which might suggest  a major predisposing factor in neurodegenerative diseases.

HOW CIRCADIN EYEWEAR CAN HELP DEMENTIA

Melatonin is shown to be a major factor for preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia. Dementia is highly associated with sleep disorders and circadian rhythms disruption.

The natural production and secretion of melatonin are prevented when we are exposed to blue lights (from light sources and electronic screens) in the evenings. By wearing Circadian Eyewear two hours before scheduled sleep time, the glasses eliminate the blue light and help the brain start secretion of melatonin,  setting the body into the night mode and balancing the hormonal cycles. 

Circadian Eyewear
Circadian Eyewear Collection

 

 

 

RESEARCH REGARDING DEMENTIA TIED TO CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS

Research from PubMed
Circadian activity rhythms and risk of incident dementia and mild cognitive impairment in older women.

Circadian Disruption Associated with Alzheimer's Disease.

Measures of Sleep-Wake Patterns and Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia in Older Women.

Mild cognitive impairment: could it be a sleep disorder?

The management of sleep disorders in dementia: an update.

Loss of melatonin daily rhythmicity is associated with delirium development in hospitalized older adults.

Sleep disturbance in mild cognitive impairment: a systematic review of recent findings.

Research from Sleep Medicine Reviews
Sleeping well and staying in rhythm to stave off dementia

Research Sources