Increase Your Social Engagement
Compelling research suggests seniors who spend most of their time in their immediate home environment are almost twice as likely to develop AD compared to those who travel more. These findings, however, may also reflect the general health of the individuals.
The Mayo Clinic advises that being engaged with your surroundings is good for your mental, physical, and emotional health.
A Diet For Dementia Prevention
Researchers are actively investigating the potential of heart-healthy diets to protect the brain.
The Mediterranean diet, with its proven benefits to heart health, is one regimen theyre studying. This type of diet includes:
- Relatively little red meat
- Lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Supporting this recommendation, a study that appeared in the January 2018 issue of the journal Neurology found a correlation between daily consumption of green, leafy vegetables and a slowing of age-related cognitive decline.
- Fish and poultry consumption at least twice a week
- Herbs as a flavoring rather than salt
- Nuts, olive oil, and other healthy fats instead of butter or other saturated fats
- Foods that are low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol
- Fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy
- Whole grains, poultry, fruit, and nuts
- Limited intake of fats, red meats, sweets, sugared beverages, and sodium
S To Reduce Alzheimers Risk
Practices thought to delay or help prevent Alzheimers disease should be as familiar to you as the healthy lifestyle habits youve heard about for years. The top five Alzheimers prevention tips are:
Research is ongoing, but a number of studies have shown that moving every day may help reduce cognitive decline, and the same thing is true for eating a whole foods-based diet rich in fruits and vegetables. These practices in turn help lower your blood pressure, and compromised vascular health has also been linked to Alzheimers.
The most enjoyable part of this anti-Alzheimers prescription is keeping your brain busy with puzzles, hobbies like playing a musical instrument, and spending time doing things with people you enjoy.
Because these tips are advised for staving off many other health conditions, theyre neither foreign nor unreasonably difficult. And knowing they could help defend you from an Alzheimers diagnosis may up your motivation factor exponentially.
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Top 6 Ways To Help You Prevent Alzheimers Disease
Top 6 Ways to Help You Prevent Alzheimers Disease
With so many living much longer lives, the potential for developing dementia or Alzheimers Disease increases. Here are some easy to follow steps you can take to help yourself or a loved one from developing these devastating age-related diseases.
Does Higher Learning Combat Dementia
Baby boomers: Did you know that dementia rates are declining? Common wisdom suggests that as people grow older and increasingly develop conditions that contribute to poor brain health, the prevalence of dementia would increase. But this might not be the caseand more years of education may partly to thank.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that dementia prevalence fell from 2000 to 2012 in people 65 and older, and that this drop was associated with staying in school longer.
Notably, the decrease in dementia occurred despite the increased prevalence of high blood pressure and diabetes, conditions that can increase dementia risk, comments Esther Oh, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center. Oh, who is not affiliated with the study, also says that while the decline appears to be related to improved education levels, more research is needed.
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Early Warning Signs Of Alzheimers And When You Should See Your Doctor
As you get older, its incredibly normal to experience some minor forgetfulness. Unfortunately, Alzheimers develops in your brain long before symptoms ever appear, and those symptoms tend to set in slowly over long periods of time rather than all at once. The key here is recognizing how often youre having lapses in judgment and how serious of a situation it might be.
One really easy example? Maybe one time you lose your keys. That could just be a blip that could happen at any age or simply be a fluke, right? On the other hand, if you lose your keys every day, if you lose your keys and never find them, the frequency and severity of that situation is a sign something is happening to disrupt your life, explains Dr. Caldwell.
Other early signs may include:
- Forgetting important events like birthdays or anniversaries.
- Being unable to recall recent conversations or experiences.
- Often not remembering specific details correctly.
- Frequent difficulty coming up with words.
- Forgetting the name of an extended family member or long-distance friend.
If youre worried you may be experiencing early signs of Alzheimers, or youre unsure if its simple forgetfulness or a serious problem, Dr. Caldwell suggests seeking advice from your trusted healthcare provider.
Lower Your Risk Of Dementia
You may already know that avoiding processed foods, favoring a Mediterranean diet and exercising lower your risk of dementia. There are other relatively simple, meaningful steps you could take to lower your risk, too.
1. Beware of High Copper Levels in Your Water
You need traces amounts of the heavy metal copper to survive because its vital for bone, hormonal and nerve health. Too much of a good thing, though, could be bad for your brain. A 2013 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that copper can trigger the onset of Alzheimers and fuel the disease. In fact, the study found that copper in drinking water at levels one-tenth of the water quality standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency caused a toxic accumulation of the pro-Alzheimers protein amyloid beta.
The researchers cant yet say what the exact level of too much copper is, but if you have copper water pipes, getting your water tested for excess copper is a good place to start. Water filters that are NSF-certified under NSF/ANSI 53 for copper reduction will reduce copper to below the EPAs maximum contaminant level or lower.
2. If Possible, Avoid Allergy Drugs and Other Pills Linked to Dementia
University of Washington scientists also found the chronic use of certain anticholinergic sleep aids and hay fever meds increased a persons risk of dementia. The study only found the link for people taking these drugs for three or more years.
5. Live a Life of Purpose
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How To Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Dementia Alzheimer’s Disease
A plant-based diet has been linked to dementia prevention.
Alzheimers disease is the sixth leading cause of death for all adults, and the fifth leading cause of death for adults over 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease, which affects the parts of the brain that control thought, language and memory can significantly impair a persons ability to accomplish daily activities.
Warren Boling, MD, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Loma Linda University Health, says that although the cause is still unknown, experts are constantly discovering more about what can be done to reduce the risks of developing Alzheimers disease.
Risk factors point to an increased chance of developing the disease, and while some risk factors cant be changed, there are others within your control, such as diet, exercise and sleep, Boling says.
During Healthy Aging Month, Boling breaks down five risk factors that people can look out for to reduce the risk of dementia.
Give Your Brain Strong Relationships
Your brain thrives when you are talking and spending time with those you love. Building and maintaining strong relationships with others is vital to your health and may even reduce your risk of dementia by 26%, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.
Action Strategy: Make healthy relationships a priority. Feeling safe and connected can improve your brain health so offer your love and time freely but also set limits on spending time with people who may be toxic.
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How The Evidence Stacks Up For Preventing Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease has long been considered an inevitable consequence of ageing that is exacerbated by a genetic predisposition. Increasingly, however, it is thought to be influenced by modifiable lifestyle behaviours that might enable a persons risk of developing the condition to be controlled. But even as evidence to support this idea has accumulated over the past decade, the research community has been slow to adopt the idea.
This reluctance was obvious as recently as 2010, when the US National Institutes of Health brought together a panel of 15 researchers to consider the state of research on preventing Alzheimers disease, at a conference in Bethesda, Maryland. Tantalizing findings had begun to emerge that suggested that behavioural choices such as engaging in physical exercise, intellectual stimulation and healthy eating could reduce the risk of brain degeneration. In a 2006 study that followed more than 2,200 people in New York for four years, researchers found that people who adhered to a Mediterranean diet full of whole grains, fruit and vegetables, fish and olive oil had an up to 40% lower risk of dementia than people who ate more dairy products and meat.
Ways To Lower Your Alzheimers Risk
Adopting four of five healthy lifestyle measures may lower your risk of developing Alzheimers disease by up to 60 percent, according to a new report. The study, of nearly 3,000 men and women who were enrolled in two separate studies, found that the healthier your lifestyle, the lower your risk of developing Alzheimers disease.
The five measures the researchers tested were:
Regular exercise. Physical activity is good for the heart and blood vessels, including those in the brain. Experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise. Studies have shown that regular aerobic activities like walking, cycling or climbing stairs improved thinking skills in people in their 20s, and that the benefits of exercise on thinking skills continued to accrue as people age. Exercise can also be good for people with Alzheimers, helping to improve coordination and prevent falls, a leading cause of disability in older people.
Dont smoke. Smoking has been shown to speed up cognitive decline and may spur the onset of Alzheimers disease. It damages blood vessels throughout the body, including in the brain. Middle-aged smokers score worse on memory tests than their nonsmoking peers, studies show. But quitting smoking, regardless of age, has benefits. Even in people over 60 who have been lifelong smokers, quitting will improve health, and the benefits may be immediate.
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Follow A Healthy Lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle may be able to offset the genetic risk of developing dementia, according to a recent study.
Data on 196,383 adults of European ancestry over the age of 60 were analyzed in the study. Each person was placed in one of three groups: high, intermediate, and low genetic risk. Over the course of eight years, 1,769 cases of dementia were identified among the participants.
The study found that, among people with a genetic predisposition towards dementia, those who actively lead a healthy lifestyle were 32% less likely to develop it than those who lived an unhealthy lifestyle. Furthermore, participants with a high genetic risk of dementia and unhealthy lifestyle were nearly three times more likely to develop a form of dementia compared to people with a low genetic risk and healthy lifestyle.
Keep Your Heart Healthy
Many of the same strategies to reduce heart disease also benefit your brain. For example, research suggests that high blood pressure is correlated with an increased risk of dementia, while lowering it through exercise and a heart-healthy diet can reduce your risk.
Interestingly, studies have found that if you’re not effective with your efforts through diet and exercise, your risk of dementia can still be reduced by taking medications to lower your blood pressure.
Keep A Healthy Heart To Slash Risk Of Dementia In Half
Both family history and heart health influence an individuals chances of developing dementia, one study says. The presence of dementia-associated common gene variants alone were found to potentially double a persons risk of dementia. However, if that same person is in strong cardiovascular shape that dementia risk is cut in half!
The study by Boston University researchers show the effects of both genes and cardiovascular health on dementia risk are additive. This means either of those factors can solely raise or lower a persons dementia risk. Just because you have a high genetic risk of dementia doesnt mean that you cant lower your risk by adopting a healthier lifestyle, says study lead author Dr. Gina Peloso.
The results are quite clear. The study shows that adults with strong cardiovascular health were 55% less likely to develop dementia.
How Can We Help Reduce Our Risk Of Cognitive Decline And Alzheimers Disease
With 76,000 Canadians being diagnosed with dementia every year, many of us now have a family member living with the condition.1 But just because someone in your family has dementia, does that mean youre going to get it, too? Lets take a look at your risk of developing the disease as well as what you can do to help reduce your overall risk.
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Aerobic Exercise May Benefit The Brain
There is some evidence that regular exercise can lower the risk of Alzheimers and vascular dementia by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
A small study that supports the benefit of exercise, published in the April 2017 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine involved 38 older people who had been diagnosed with an early, mild form of vascular dementia.
After six months on an exercise regimen of brisk, one-hour walks three times a week, the walkers had lower blood pressure than subjects in the control group and significantly improved cognitive function, as assessed by brain scan.
Social Engagement And Staying Mentally Active
There is some evidence that social engagement can help keep the brain healthy.
Research is ongoing. One large study from China, published in the January 2018 issue of the journal Scientific Reports followed over 7,500 elderly men and women for over nine years. None had dementia at the beginning of the study but by the end, 338 did.
The researchers assessed social engagement in five ways, including marital status living situation emotional connectedness the availability of someone to turn to for help when needed and participation in social activities.
The researchers concluded that high social engagement seems to prevent or delay dementia. The researchers also saw an association between maintaining or increasing social-engagement levels and reduced dementia risk.
Staying mentally active may also protect the brain in both long and short term. Learning a new skill, pursuing a new hobby, or taking classes may help preserve brain function.
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Risk Factors And Root Causes
As scientists continue to study this family of diseases, its clear that certain factors impact a persons risk of dementia. Some of these things cannot be avoided, like getting older. However, the great news is that many potential causes of dementia can be avoided.
Here are the most well-known risk factors of dementia: 31363-6.pdf” rel=”nofollow”> 24)
- Age. The older you are, the greater the risk of developing a form of dementia.
- Alcohol. Drinking moderate mounts of alcohol could protect your from dementia, but excessive drinking over a long period of time actually increases your risk.
- Atherosclerosis. When fats and cholesterol accumulate in your arteries and inflammation thickens your blood vessel walls, your brain isnt able to receive the blood it needs.
- High bad LDL cholesterol levels
- Type 2 diabetes
- Physical inactivity
- Social isolation
Dementia doesnt happen overnight and is characterized by gradual changes and damage in the brain. Here are different types of dementia and root causes:
Whether it comes on suddenly with a stroke or more slowly over time with atherosclerosis, vascular dementia occurs when the brain is not getting enough blood. This causes brain cell death that leads to brain damage.
The most common type of dementia, Alzheimers affects the cerebral cortex and is characterized by plagues and tangles that result in the loss of brain cells and ensuing brain shrinkage.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies