I fear dementia. Both of my parents have dementia and live in a memory care community. They love one another and seem happy where they are now, but it took a while to make that happen. They wanted to maintain their independence. Understandable.
I fear dementia. Though I hope by avoiding alcohol and taking my bipolar medications, I can stave it off. (Alcohol is a neurotoxin, and I have a family history of alcoholism.)
Still, I fear a downward spiral. That fear I want to overcome. Face it. Stand up to bipolar disorder and dementia. Take care of my brain.
Even if my bipolar disorder progresses, even if I get dementia, I can still love and be loved, just as my parents still love and are loved.
Bipolar Disorder & Dementia Research
Analyzing six studies, researchers concluded in “History of Bipolar Disorder and the Risk of Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis“:
History of BD [bipolar disorder] is associated with significantly higher risk of dementia in older adults. Future studies are necessary to evaluate the potential mediators of this association and to evaluate interventions that may reduce the risk of dementia in this population.
Diniz BS, Teixeira AL, Cao F, Gildengers A, Soares JC, Butters MA, Reynolds CF 3rd
The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 2017 Apr;25(4):357-362. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2016.11.014