Does Reading Ward Off Dementia
One research study found that people who remained mentally active in their middle years had fewer beta-amyloid deposits on current brain scans. “Mentally active” was defined as reading, writing, and playing games.
Multiple other studies have demonstrated that people who are mentally active which, in those studies included reading, are less likely to decline cognitively as they age. This association held true for those who were mentally active in early, middle and late life.
The idea behind a higher level of mental activity being related to improved or maintained brain functioning is often referred to as cognitive reserve. Cognitive reserve can be thought of in a similar way to your muscles. If you use them and push yourself, your muscles will be stronger and your body will function better.
Physical Activity And Mental Stimulation
Alzheimers care services often focus on movement. Regular exercise can keep the brain healthy by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen. Exercise doesnt need to be tough. Medium activity a few times a week can be beneficial.
Keeping the brain active can also help with brain health. Puzzles, reading, board games, playing an instrument, or learning a new skill are all examples of activities to consider. Dementia care services can assist with this type of programming that encourages brain stimulation.
Evaluating The Latest Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Research
A recent review of research looked carefully at the evidence on ways to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s dementia or age-related cognitive decline. Led by a committee of experts from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine , the review found “encouraging but inconclusive” evidence for three types of interventions:
The evidence for other interventions, such as medications and diet, was not as strong. However, scientists are continuing to explore these and other possible preventions.
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How To Prevent Dementia 10 Strategies To Reduce Your Risk
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are ways to decrease your risk of dementia. Studies are showing us that healthy lifestyle choices can prevent many forms of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. A healthy lifestyle can also improve your cognitive function. While there is no definitive way to prevent dementia, these 10 healthy lifestyle strategies may help you reduce your risk.
How To Participate In World Alzheimers Day
The first lesson in supporting people with Alzheimers disease is to think about how we interact with patients of this disease. Its important to stand up for people who cannot advocate for themselves, support them, and treat them with respect. When communicating with someone who has Alzheimers disease, we must be respectful yet alzunderstanding:
- Dont use condescending language such as, good girl or use childish tones. Treat the patient like an adult.
- When youre with the patient, dont talk about them as if they werent around.;
- Watch for your nonverbal language. Make sure your body language is relaxed, and connect with them with eye contact, a smile, or a gentle touch.;
- Be patient; theyve likely been interrupted enough already.;
- Its okay if youve heard the same story before; its important to them!;
- Use visual cues, such as showing them something, if they cant find the words.;
- Comfort them when life gets too frustrating.;
If youre close to someone with Alzheimers disease, there are books and puzzles you can buy that are designed for their specific condition. These provide necessary brain stimulation, which may help slow cognitive decline. Help your affected family members stay active and connected.
Reducing Your Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
- keeping alcohol to a minimum
- eating a healthy, balanced diet, including at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day
- exercising for at least 150 minutes every week by;doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity , or as much as you’re able to
- making sure your blood pressure is checked and controlled through;regular health tests
- if you have diabetes, make sure you keep to the diet and take;your medicine
Reading In The Middle Stages Of Dementia
As Alzheimer’s progresses into the middle stages of dementia, most people can still read, but typically this ability will gradually decline over time. This can vary, with some;people with mid-stage dementia being able to continue to enjoy reading, especially if it’s been a life-long habit. What often appears to decline is the ability to understand or remember what they’re readingthat is, the comprehension. This is related to the ability to understand what words mean and what a whole sentence is conveying. Additionally, when memory is impaired, it may be difficult to remember what it is that was read.
If the time comes when an academic journal just doesn’t hold your interest anymore, you might still enjoy reading other simpler and more engaging books in the middle stages of dementia.
Also Check: Difference Between Senility And Dementia
Eat A Healthy Low Carbohydrate Diet
Consider this like any organ in your body, your brain needs to be fed. Your brain needs more nutrients than any other organ. To function properly, it needs omega-3s, magnesium, vitamin D, B12 and so much more. If your diet is nutrient poor, so is your brain. If you are not eating a well rounded diet rich in vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, you may experience anxiety, depression, brain fog, memory loss, etc.
Id first like to address the healthy part of eating a healthy diet. So many people are confused about what constitutes a healthy diet. The simple answer is this: whole foods, foods without ingredient labels. Vegetables, proteins, nuts, seeds and fruits.
More specifically, the base of your diet should be vegetables like leafy greens like kale and collards, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, artichokes, etc. The more variety, the better.
Next, you want healthy fat. Healthy fats like olive oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, avocado oil, duck fat, lard, etc. You may have heard negative things about fats like lard because of the saturated fat content, but did you know that your brain is over 60% saturated fat? Did you know that your cell membranes are made up of saturated fat? Or that your hormones are driven by fat? Saturated fat has been wrongly vilified my friends. Without it, your brain would be scrambled eggs.
Keep Your Brain Flexible
Neuroplasticity is a big word for the brain’s ability to continue changing and growing. A study in the JAMA Psychiatry journal suggests that a flexible brain can slow dementia. The thought is that when you have more brain connections, you are less likely to suffer from dementia because your brain is more able to adapt and create new connections.
Action Strategy: Make a goal to use your brain every day. Whether it is learning a new language or figuring out your new phone. The more you continue to use your brain, the healthier your brain stays.
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How To Participate And Upcoming Events
to stay informed about Mind Readers book club news and events.
Join the Mind Readers book club and host Lindsay Clark, PhD, for a discussion via Zoom with Michelle Braun, PhD, author of High-Octane Brain: 5 Science-Based Steps to Sharpen Your Memory and Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s. Hear about common misconceptions around aging, three possible brain health trajectories and how to maximize your brain health. Participation is free and everyone is welcome to attend. REGISTER
- This event is co-hosted by the Madison Public Library. Check out ebooks and audiobooks of High-Octane Brain: 5 Science-Based Steps to Sharpen Your Memory and Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s;from Wisconsin’s Digital Library.
Please bookmark this page and check back often for updates and Mind Readers events that you can participate in. We will also share book club news in our monthly Headlines e-newsletter and the .
Take School Seriously As A Child And Play Chess
Exercising your brain is one strong strategy for reducing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.;
Mentally stimulating activities such as reading, playing chess and doing puzzles help preserve brain structures and cognitive functions that are implicated in dementia.
Additionally, the review found that people who received a strong formal education early in life had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Although your own early education is out of your control, parents can consider their children’s schooling as an investment for their brain health later in life.
Also Check: Senile Vs Dementia
Tips For Cutting Down On Alcohol
- Set yourself a limit and keep track of how much youre drinking.;
- Try low-alcohol or alcohol-free drinks.
- Try to alternate between alcoholic and soft drinks.
- Take advantage of particular dates and events to motivate you. For example, you could make a new years resolution to drink less.
Risk factors you can’t change
Discover how age, genetics, gender and ethnicity can affect your risk of developing dementia.
Is Alzheimers Disease Preventable
Okay, so that was a bit heavy. Unfortunately, Alzheimers Disease is serious enough to warrant some heavy in the storytelling. But its not all doom-and-gloom.
The good news is we have new tests to detect Alzheimers Disease earlier than ever before. This is thanks to ongoing research into the causes and indicators associated with the disease. Now we know the disease is caused by a plaque, rather than simply damaged brain cells as previously thought. And the more we know about what causes it, the more we learn about how to prevent it.
The bad news is we have no definitive instruction on how to prevent it. There are plenty of theories, many of them with some serious research behind them. For example, recent studies have shown a strong link between sugar and the onset of Alzheimers Disease.; Unfortunately, nothing is 100% guaranteed but we are learning more methods every day. Some of them are regular activities we do every day. For example, reading.
Recommended Reading: How Does Dementia Kill You
Reading Can Help You Relax
Theres a reason snuggling up with a good book after a long day sounds so appealing. Research suggests that reading can work as a serious stress-buster. One 2009 study by Sussex University researchers showed that reading may reduce stress by as much as 68 percent. It really doesnt matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the authors imagination, cognitive neuropsychologist David Lewis told The Telegraph.
Can Eating Certain Foods Or Diets Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
People often wonder if a certain diet or specific foods can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The recent NASEM review of research did not find enough evidence to recommend a certain diet to prevent cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s. However, certain diets and healthy eating patterns have been associated with cognitive benefits. Studies of diets, such as the Mediterranean diet and the MIND dieta combination of the Mediterranean and DASH dietsare underway. Learn more about what we know about diet and the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information, read What Do We Know About Diet and Alzheimer’s Prevention?
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Control Your Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is strongly associated with an increased risk of dementia. High blood pressure can damage tiny blood vessels in the parts of the brain responsible for cognition and memory. The latest American Heart Association guidelines class blood pressure readings of 130/80 mm Hg and above as the start of high blood pressure.
Check your blood pressure at home. A study in the Netherlands found that a large variation in blood pressure readings over a period of years was associated with an increased risk of dementia. Inexpensive monitors that wrap around your upper arm can help you keep track of your blood pressure throughout the day and pick up on any variations. Some devices even send the results to your phone so you can easily track your readings or share them with your doctor.
What Do We Know About Reducing Risk For Dementia
The number of older Americans is rising, so the number of people with dementia is predicted to increase. However, some studies have shown that incidence rates of dementia meaning new cases in a population over a certain period of time have decreased in some locations, including in the United States. Based on observational studies, factors such as healthy lifestyle behaviors and higher levels of education may be contributing to such a decline. But the cause and effect is uncertain, and such factors need to be tested in a clinical trial to prove whether they can prevent dementia.
A review of published research evaluated the evidence from clinical trials on behavior and lifestyle changes to prevent or delay Alzheimers or age-related cognitive decline. The review found encouraging but inconclusive evidence for three types of behavioral changes : physical activity, blood pressure control, and cognitive training. The findings mean that interventions in these areas are promising enough that researchers should keep studying them to learn more. Researchers continue to explore these and other interventions to determine whether and in what amounts or forms they might prevent dementia.
Watch a video below that highlights conclusions and recommendations from the research review.
What Is World Alzheimers Day And How Can You Participate
World Alzheimers Day is on September 21st. Its a day focused on the goal of raising awareness about Alzheimers disease.
Alzheimers disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease where brain cells become damaged and the brains nerve cells begin to die. Toxic plaques made by amyloid-beta and other proteins accumulate, which impairs ones memories, cognitive thinking, and behaviour.
Alzheimers is the most common form of dementia.
According to the NIH a genetic mutation can cause early-onset Alzheimers. In late-onset Alzheimers, a variant of the APOE gene increases ones risk of developing brain disease.
On World Alzheimers Day, organizations aim to spread the word about the nature of the disease, the impact it has on loved ones, preventative measures, risk factors, and how to challenge the stigma associated with Alzheimers disease.;
Mind Readers Book Club
A good book is a great way to start an engaging conversation. The Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center invites you to join our first-ever book club, Mind Readers. This is an opportunity for all community members, research participants and study partners;to read and discuss a variety of stimulating books related to Alzheimer’s disease, science, prevention and wellness.;Mind Readers book club is free and anyone is welcome to join. Members will have access to virtual lectures, discussions and special podcasts with scientists and authors related to the reading list.;Engage your brain and join the conversation.
A Reading Prescription For Prevention Of Alzheimers
Researchers found that reading increases longevity. A study from Yale analyzed 3635 participants over the age of 50. The participants who read at least 30 minutes a day increased their life expectancy by an average of 23 months.;
Here are some ways to read for at least 30 minutes a day to prevent Alzheimers and boost longevity.
Image via Pexels
- Enjoy reading the paper? Use up your 30 minutes of reading for the day by reading the news while having your morning coffee.;
- Keep a book by your bedside. Reading every night before bed is an excellent way of remembering to do your 30 minutes of reading.;
- Research subjects that interest you. The internet has a plethora of resources, allowing us to learn anything. Maybe you feel an impulse to read about historical events, building things, or biographies of people that interest you. You should definitely follow the impulse. Reading about topics that interest you will keep your brain engaged while bettering your chances of maintaining a good reading habit.
- Just read every day. Do not worry if you cannot manage thirty minutes on a certain day. It is still better to read than not. Reading one article from the news or even a single page from your book is better than nothing.;
Overall, reading is an activity that can be accomplished every day. Reading prevents Alzheimers and increases longevity by utilizing and strengthening key areas of the brain. Be sure to create a long-term reading habit for optimal benefits.
Improve Your Lifestyle For Alzheimers Prevention
Healthy habits may help ward off Alzheimer’s. Consider the following steps to help prevent Alzheimers.
Exercise.;”The most convincing evidence is that physical exercise helps prevent the development of Alzheimer’s or slow the progression in people who have symptoms,” says Dr. Marshall. “The recommendation is 30 minutes of moderately vigorous aerobic exercise, three to four days per week.”
Eat a Mediterranean diet.;”This has been shown to help thwart Alzheimer’s or slow its progression. A recent study showed that even partial adherence to such a diet is better than nothing, which is relevant to people who may find it difficult to fully adhere to a new diet,” says Dr. Marshall. The diet includes fresh vegetables and fruits; whole grains; olive oil; nuts; legumes; fish; moderate amounts of poultry, eggs, and dairy; moderate amounts of red wine; and red meat only sparingly.
Get enough sleep.;”Growing evidence suggests that improved sleep can help prevent Alzheimer’s and is linked to greater amyloid clearance from the brain,” says Dr. Marshall. Aim for seven to eight hours per night.