Richard Madeley: Good Morning Britain host is twitchy about memory decline
Richard Madeley announces break from Good Morning Britain
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Losing his dear mum in 2014 to cancer and Alzheimer’s, Richard Madeley is concerned he could follow the same path. “The majority of people over the age of 60 fear dementia more than any other condition,” he told Woman magazine. “If it ever happens to me, I would want to meet it head on. I would want to go down fighting,” he said. The Good Morning Britain host declared that people of his generation are “twitchy”.
“We pounce on the slightest memory lapse or moment of forgetfulness and ask ourselves, ‘Is this it? Is this the start of something major?’ he explained.
“Forgetting where we’ve put the car keys, how that Sunday night drama series we slavishly watched last year actually ended or the name of someone we were introduced to for the first time 30 seconds ago; it’s all clean gone.”
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Richard expressed his view on the brain condition.
“It doesn’t just take your life and make you ill ahead of your time, it takes your personality, it takes you,” he said.
The NHS pointed out the “early symptoms of dementia” that typically occur in people.
For instance, six early warning signs include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty with daily tasks
- Struggling to follow a conversation
- Being confused about time and place
- Mood changes.
“These symptoms are often mild and may get worse only very gradually,” the national health body stated.
During the earliest stages, the symptoms are termed mild cognitive impairment.
It is only when symptoms of dementia begin to impair daily life that a diagnosis of dementia follows.
For some people, symptoms of mild cognitive impairment do not deteriorate with time.
Those with dementia, however, will experience symptoms getting more pronounced.
“Dementia is not a natural part of ageing,” the health body stressed. “This is why it’s important to talk to a GP sooner rather than later if you’re worried about memory problems or other symptoms.”
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which can include other signs, such as:
- Asking questions repeatedly
- Difficulty finding the right words
- Difficulty with numbers and/or handling money in shops
- Becoming more withdrawn or anxious.
Can you prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
While there’s no exact way to prevent the condition from developing, a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk.
For example, cardiovascular disease has been associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Therefore, in order to mitigate the risk of brain decline, one must take steps to improve their cardiovascular health.
To improve your cardiovascular health, you must:
- Be a non-smoker
- Moderate alcohol consumption
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily
- Exercise for at least 150 minutes each week
- Control blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Other factors that have been linked to an increase in dementia risk include:
- Social isolation
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Untreated depression
- Hearing loss.
The NHS pointed out that such modifiable risk factors could have a significant influence as to whether a person develops dementia or not.
It may be possible to reduce dementia risk by:
- Learning foreign languages
- Playing musical instruments
- Volunteering in your local community
- Taking part in group sports, such as bowling
- Trying new activities or hobbies
- Maintaining an active social life.
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