Does Stress Cause Dementia?

does stress cause dementiaMost of us know someone who has been affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s.  If not someone in our own family, but in the family of someone we know.  It is a devastating situation, not only for the patient, but for the family and those that provide care.  And for those of us with a family history, it brings the additional worry of ‘will it happen to me?’  And that adds stress to our already stressful lives.  So, it can be frightening to ask the questions, “Does stress cause dementia?” or “Does stress bring about Alzheimer’s?” 

I don’t know if there is an exact answer to either of these questions.  There is still much that is unknown with no conclusive ‘test’ for Alzheimer’s or that can predict your chances of mental decline.  One thing is for sure, for prevention, living healthy early in life is your best protection.

So, when I read about a possible connection between stress and dementia, it peaked my interest.  I have recently written a blog about the impact of stress on your health and mood (Natural Stress Relief Tips 12/27/15).  Higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, has now been shown to indicate shrinkage in the area of the brain that controls memory, called the hippocampus.  In a report published by ScienceNordic, it was suggested that cortisol has a toxic effect on the hippocampus area of the brain, potentially even causing brain shrinkage.  With over 4000 people in the study, it certainly makes me think that we should start early to get our stress under control.

So, Does Stress Cause Dementia? 

There is enough evidence that giving your body every chance you can to block the impact of the stress hormone, cortisol, is a good thing.  Natural supplements containing the herb ashwagandha can help with that.

Other Ways to Help Protect against Mental Decline

  • Strive to maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts
  • Support your diet with supplements that promote neural connections and healthy circulation
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Exercise daily
  • Maintain a healthy heart
  • Have social interactions every day
  • Learn a new skill often

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Testimonials on this website are based on individual experiences which may or may not vary.