Dementia is a group of symptoms that all relate to brain health & functioning. People with dementia typically suffer from memory loss, difficulty with reasoning, and (in later stages) personality changes. For some time dementia was thought to be a normal part of aging, but we now know this isn’t the case. (Even though your risk for dementia does go up with age.)
There are many causes of dementia and we don’t know them all. Well-known causes include traumatic head injury, stroke, and the effects of certain medications. Other causes are obscure. We do know that a person’s environment during their life can play a role. Also, there’s some newer research suggesting that systemic inflammation and insulin resistance also play a role. As with so many other things in life, access to good food and a clean environment can make a big difference in your health.
But for those of you getting a little older, or who have a family history of dementia, what else can you do to lower your risk?
Acupuncture for Memory Loss
We’ve spoken in the past about using acupuncture to promote neural regrowth. This is important for recovery from injury or to help with diseases like multiple sclerosis. And while it suggests that acupuncture is good for dementia too, we didn’t really have proof of that.
Well, research continues. And while it is still developing, the most recent studies also show that acupuncture can treat early-stage memory loss. Science hasn’t quite figured out why that is yet. I hypothesize that it’s because acupuncture is good at stopping inflammation and promoting better capillary circulation. I use these strengths for my patients all the time for injury and gut problems, so I expect it would translate well for the brain too.
Patients usually see us for other conditions, and memory loss or concentration problems are a secondary goal. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be your main focus for treatment. If you’re concerned about memory loss or dementia, start your treatment early! Come see us for a consultation and let’s talk about how we can help.