CDC: About 5 million adults have dementia

Using speech to detect dementia

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – One out of every six women and one out of every ten men living past the age of 55 will develop dementia according to recent data.

This week, The Carter Center announced that former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has dementia.

A neurologist with HCA Florida Memorial Hospital spoke with News4JAX about how you can lower your risk.

It’s frightening to think that one day you may not be able to remember who you are or the people you love.

Those are the worst-case scenarios for people battling dementia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5 million adults at least 65 years old have it.

“So the most common thing is forgetfulness or short-term memory problems. Dementia generally increases as age goes on and on when you get older,” said Dr. Rajul Parikh.

Early signs of dementia can be subtle. The CDC says it can be as simple as occasionally misplacing car keys, struggling to find a word but remembering it later, forgetting the name of an acquaintance, or forgetting the most recent event

Doctor Parikh says the greatest risk is for people at least 65 years old and older. That’s right around the age when people decide to retire. In this stage of life - Doctor Parikh says it is crucial to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. This can also help maintain healthy brain functions if you’ve already received a diagnosis.

“Healthy diet more protein more green vegetables. Keeping with some kind of daily exercise and also keeping some sort of activity in your retirement life that keeps your mind active,” said Parikh.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. If you have a family history of the disease it increases your risk.

While there’s no cure, there are medications that slow it down, but preventative care is key.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.