New Research on Alzheimer's Prevention
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive condition that affects over five million individuals in the United States alone. It is the most common form of dementia, which is a general term used to describe a group of chronic brain disorders that cause memory and behavioral problems. AD tends to develop slowly — an individual with Alzheimer’s may begin to experience mild confusion and have difficulty remembering certain things. Eventually, symptoms of AD will become more severe and some individuals with the disease may be unable to recognize friends and family members. Others may even undergo drastic personality changes.
There are several medications and management strategies available to temporarily alleviate or improve symptoms. Four new medications have been approved for the treatment of AD, states one Dr. Galvin. He also says that promising research efforts are in progress to develop new treatments by the year 2025.
Certain conditions have been found to be associated with an increased risk of AD, and they include coronary heart disease, depression, high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney problems, tobacco use, poor diet, low physical activity, and alcohol abuse. Researchers also looked at different studies related to brain-stimulating activities, and they found that these may lower one’s risk of Alzheimer’s. According to researchers, protective effects against AD can be provided by playing card games, doing arts and crafts, listening to music, and solving crossword puzzles. The risk can also be reduced through exercise.
One of the greatest risk factors for AD is age; the disease tends to develop in people over the older than 60. According to researchers, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s can be reduced by almost 30 percent by maintaining a well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Such a lifestyle would include being socially engaged, exercising, and following a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
The question is, is Alzheimer’s disease preventable? Although there is no definite answer, one’s risk factors should be addressed in order to improve symptoms and contribute to an overall healthy life. This will also help the individual develop proper management strategies. Some risk factors can be controlled, whereas others cannot. The chances of preserving one’s cognitive abilities can be maximized by following healthy habits, such as:
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Lose excess weight (a risk factor for AD and other types of dementia is being overweight)
- Add berries to your daily diet since these contain active properties such as anthycyanosides, which fight memory problems.
- A Mediterranean diet reduces the chances of AD
- Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet
- Take folic acid supplements
- Blood sugar levels may increase due to sugary food, elevating your risk, so be sure to cut down on them.
- Avoid trans fats in fast food and fried foods as they can produce inflammation and free radicals.
- Drink a glass of purple grape juice or red wine with your dinner, as these contain stress-fighting properties and protect brain cells.
Tips for Prevention
- Control your blood pressure
- Get regular psychical exercise
- In your exercise, include relaxation, balance, and coordination activities
- Practice memorization strategies
- Play strategy games
- Quit smoking and get plenty of rest
- Maintain a sense of humor
- Connect yourself with strong social support
- Take part in activities that bring you joy
Promising research shows that you have the opportunity to take matters into your own hands regarding your Alzheimer’s risk, and by recognizing and controlling the risk factors, you can reduce your chances of getting the disease. The symptoms of AD can be prevented or slowed down, and the process of deterioration can even be reversed by combining simple, yet effective lifestyle changes.