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What You Can Do To Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Categories: Brain Disorders , Prevention | Posted: 10/14/2013 | Views: 4075

Alzheimer’s Disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer who discovered changes in the brain of a person who died after an unusual mental illness. He examined the patient’s brain and found that it had abnormal clumps and tangled bundles of fibers as well as the loss of connections between nerve cells causing these cells to die off.

While scientists do not yet understand the causes of Alzheimer’s, it is becoming increasingly clear that it is due to a complex series of events taking place in the brain over a long period of time and includes a mix of genetics and environmental and lifestyle factors. Although research is not yet conclusive, it is strongly suggested that lifestyle plays a key role in our risk level of Alzheimer’s. With different genes and various lifestyles, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s differs from one person to another. As the number of people affected by Alzheimer's increases, research is gaining momentum.

Can Alzheimer’s be prevented? Right now, no, there is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The strongest evidence so far to reduce or prevent your risk of Alzheimer’s is to reduce your risk of heart disease. The same factors that increase your risk of heart disease also increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control is important. We know that the way to reduce these factors is through eating right, not smoking, and exercising. Our brain health is directly related to our heart health. To keep our hearts and brains healthy many suggest that our diet include fish, shellfish, nuts, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil and other healthy fats. These are foods found in the Mediterranean diet.

Other studies have recently linked serious head trauma to Alzheimer’s disease. Reduce risk of head injury by wearing a helmet during sporting activities, wearing a seat belt and safeguarding your home against falls. Some studies indicate that a strong social life and keeping mentally active will lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

While some factors are out of our control, such as genetics, we are able to control the following factors which will lead you to a healthy brain (and healthy heart) lifestyle that may decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy diet rich with vegetables, healthy grains, and fruits
  • Keep active physically, mentally and socially
  • Get plenty of regular sleep
  • Control your stress levels
  • Don’t smoke or make efforts to quit and/or reduce smoking

 

 

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