Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that attacks the brain and affects its ability to form and remember memories of events in the patient’s life. It’s a condition to which the medical communality still has no cure, method of delay, or highly accurate test for detecting it early on.
More than five (5) million elderly adults are living with Alzheimer’s in the United States alone. What’s even more alarming is that field experts strongly believe that by the time we reach 2050, the current number of Alzheimer’s patients will have grown to be 13.5 million.
The Alzheimer’s Association has revealed in a paper that Alzheimer’s disease is responsible for the deaths of one in three (1 in 3) senior citizens on a yearly basis.
But while there’s no way to cure Alzheimer’s as of yet, what you can to is significantly diminish your chances of developing the disease.
Dr. Greg Petsko, professor of neuroscience from Weill Cornell Medical College’s Brain and Mind Research Institute (New York), gave a statement to CBS News informing that while genetic factors do indeed play a role in the development of the illness, environmental factors and lifestyle also play their respective parts. He stresses that Alzheimer’s is not a disease that is inevitable.
Dr. Richard Lipton, an expert from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York), agrees with Dr. Petsko. He gave a statement of his own sharing that at this point lifestyle changes look more promising than any drugs currently on the market.
Dr. Petsko also said that “We can prevent [Alzheimer’s], we can beat it”. But how? By making the following five (5) lifestyle changes:
1) Get better sleep. When studies were conducted on more than 6.000 individuals who had poor sleeping patterns, the experts found that they suffered from an early memory problem known as “mild cognitive impairment”, especially if they had sleep apnea. Mild cognitive impairment can easily lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in the upcoming tears.
Another recent finding is that poor sleeping patterns are responsible for amyloid, a brain-clogging protein that’s known as a hallmark for Alzheimer’s. Dr. Kristine Yaffe from the University of California (San Francisco) says that people shouldn’t feel powerless in the matte as many sleep disorders are quite treatable.
2) Exercise your brain. Field experts advice elderly adults to do crossword puzzles, learn how to play a new musical instrument, or learn a new language to keep their brain from deteriorating. The sooner you get your brain used to learning new things, the better protected you will be against Alzheimer’s.
A research team from Karolinska Institute looked at the school report cards as well as the work histories of over 7.000 elderly adults. What they found was that people who had good grades from as early as age 10, as well as those who worked jobs where they were required to have an expertise with numbers or with complex human interactions, were less likely to develop dementia later in life.
3) Go to the gym more often. People who stay in shape have a much lower change of suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, all factors which have been proven to aid in the development of mild cognitive impairment.
A recent study showed that young adults who had a sedentary lifestyle had worse memory and thinking skills than their active peers when they reached middle age.
4) Don’t dismiss your mental health. A team or researchers from Harvard University have found that depression, loneliness and stress also aid in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Field experts advice people to see a professional when they feel depression settling in and not to brood over stressful events. Focus on the positive instead.
5) Adopt a healthy diet. Last but not least, a diet that’s low in sugar and fat, and high in fruits and vegetables, have been proven to benefit the arteries responsible for keeping blood flowing to the brain. On top of this, a good diet prevents the development of type 2 diabetes, which in turn lowers the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
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