Can We Slow, Or Prevent, Alzheimer’s?

Having an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be one of the scariest moments, whether it is for us or a loved one. While there is no guarantee that lifestyle habits can prevent Alzheimer’s, there is some pretty solid evidence that doing certain things can ward it off, or lessen the effects.

From The Alzheimer’s Organization, prevention and treatment can be the same. There are many Alzheimer’s drugs that are widely used, however, the overall effectiveness is still up in the air. What we do on a daily basis, whether there is a diagnosis or not, is very important.

  • Numerous studies have shown the beneficial effects of exercise on the health of brain. Cardiovascular exercise causes an increase in blood flow to the brain which brings nutrients which the brain uses to create new brain cells, maintain existing brain cells, and remove the brain’s harmful waste products.
  • In 2014 the American Academy of Neurology published a study showing a “clear link” between vitamin deficiencies prevalent in seniors and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Be socially active, spend time with your friends or family at least once a week. Social activity is some of the best mental stimulation.
  • Individuals who believe they may be beginning to experience memory loss should make efforts to monitor its progression so that if treatment is necessary they will be prepared to treat the disease as early as possible.

Just as important is to avoid habits that can lead to Alzheimer’s.

  • When sleep is interrupted, so are these restorative processes. Chronic interruption, like that associated with sleep apnea, and regular sleep deprivation, can disrupt these processes enough to result in damage to the brain and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • In addition to the well-known brain shrinkage associated with smoking, smoking can also double your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, many individuals see a significant improvement of their symptoms after quitting smoking.
  • A recent study found that moderate drinkers were 20% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than non-drinkers. The same study found that those who regularly over-consumed were three times more likely to develop a dementia as those who did not.
  • Common anti-anxiety medications, benzodiazepines, have been found to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Researchers theorize that these drugs may interfere with the brain’s ability to repair itself and remove the waste products associated with Alzheimer’s.

Healthy daily habits can have an incredible effect on so many health issues, and helping to lessen the devastation of Alzheimer’s is one of them. Taking one habit at a time to make it part of your life is key so you don’t get overwhelmed. And you will find it isn’t impossible to do!

Until next time…#eatthedamnsalad

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