Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
World Alzheimer’s Day is observed on 21 September every year. This day tries to create awareness about Alzheimer’s. It also attempts to reduce the stigma and myths that surround Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia which causes memory loss and cognitive decline. It is the most common type of dementia. It becomes difficult for an Alzheimer’s patient to recall events. Some healthy practices can help in controlling the risk of Alzheimer’s and reduce the progression of the disease. Here are some simple modifications which might help.
How To Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Just as what’s good for the body is also good for the brain, so too is the converse: what’s bad for the body is bad for the brain.
Alzheimer’s is a complex disease with multiple risk factors. Some, like your age and genetics, are outside your control. However, there are ten pillars for a brain-healthy lifestyle that are within your control.
The more you strengthen each of the six pillars in your daily life, the longer and stronger your brain will stay working and the more likely you’ll be able to reduce your risk of developing dementia.
10 pillars of preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Looking to prevent dementia? These 10 key strategies can help keep your brain healthy as you age and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s
- Reduce stress
Stress is harmful to your overall health. The tight schedules followed these days can increase the level of stress. Chronic stress can also affect the functioning of your brain. It can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. You need to follow practices that can help you reduce stress. Try exercising, meditation or yoga to manage stress. You should also take small breaks throughout the day to control the stress levels. Ensure proper sleep to give enough rest to your brain.
Exercise is beneficial for your overall health. It is good for Alzheimer’s patients as well. Recently a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease also stated that regular exercise can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Madhukar Bhardwaj, Consultant Neurology explains, “Exercise and moderate physical activities are good for patients with Alzheimer’s as it helps in dopamine, serotonin and neuroplasticity is also boosted. Therefore, someone with Alzheimer’s should regularly workout.”
- Try socialising
Socializing will not let Alzheimer’s patients feel lonely. Interaction with people can lift your mood and encourage you at the same time. You will get to share your feelings and get to listen to other people. More engagement will help you get over the condition and lead a normal life.
- Ensure proper sleep
Doctors also explain the relation between Alzheimer’s and proper sleep, “Sleep is extremely important for any human being, however, ones suffering from Alzheimer’s find it extremely difficult to sleep. This increases their irritability and affects their memory even more. Therefore, practicing some exercises and yoga would calm down the nerves and boost sleep.”
- Healthy diet
In Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation and insulin resistance injure neurons and inhibit communication between brain cells. Alzheimer’s is sometimes described as “diabetes of the brain,” and a growing body of research suggests a strong link between metabolic disorders and the signal processing systems. By adjusting your eating habits, however, you can help reduce inflammation and protect your brain.
- Mental stimulation
Those who continue learning new things and challenging their brains throughout life are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Activities involving multiple tasks or requiring communication, interaction, and organization offer the greatest protection. Set aside time each day to stimulate your brain.
1. Raise the bar for an existing activity
2. Practice memorization
3. Enjoy strategy games, puzzles, and riddles
4. Practice the 5 W’s – Keep a “Who, What, Where, When, and Why” list of your daily experiences.
5. Follow the road less traveled
- Stop smoking
Smoking is one of the most preventable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. One study found that smokers over the age of 65 have a nearly 80% higher risk of Alzheimer’s than those who have never smoked. When you stop smoking, the brain benefits from improved circulation almost immediately.
- Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Both high blood pressure and high total cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Improving those numbers are good for your brain as well as your heart.
- Watch your weight
Extra kilos are a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. A major study found that people who were overweight in midlife were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s down the line, and those who were obese had three times the risk. Losing weight can go a long way to protecting your brain.
- Drink only in moderation
While there appear to be brain benefits in consuming red wine in moderation, heavy alcohol consumption can dramatically raise the risk of Alzheimer’s and accelerate brain aging.
“Alzheimer’s is moreover the abnormal deposition of pathogenic amyloid proteins in certain areas of the brain leading to abnormal function. There are few drugs that help in reducing or slowing down the deposition and therefore, reduce the effect of the pathogenic amyloids. There is apparently no treatment that can completely cure the problem but yes, the available enzyme inhibitors that are used for treatment slow down the process and give the patients some relief. Apart from medication, some Chinese herbs are proven to be beneficial and few trials show their action in improving memory function.”
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