21st September, World Alzheimer’s Day
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia that affects a person’s memory, thinking, and behavior. Sometimes, the symptoms can go on to worsen and negatively impact tasks that one performs on a day-to-day basis.
Though this condition is not a normal or expected side effect due to aging, it is known to worsen progressively over time.
The preliminary symptoms include forgetting recently acquired information. This is because Alzheimer’s affects the part of the brain that is associated with learning.
The symptoms become increasingly severe as Alzheimer’s settles more deeply into the brain. Disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends, and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes; and difficulty speaking, swallowing, and walking are all the expected symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
There isn’t yet a tried, tested, and proven “scientific method” as such that can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. Despite this, there are several suggestions and means to improve one’s lifestyle that can help reduce its risk.
Alzheimer’s disease usually affects people 60 and older, but people with a rare form of the illness can develop the disease in their 30s or 40s.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Two types of protein namely tau and amyloid-beta accumulate in the brain. They eventually go on to kill the brain cells and ultimately lead to the patient’s death.
Alzheimer’s usually settles in with age and due to some particular glitches in genes. Even if you cannot do much about these two factors, you can help your heart, brain and the rest of your body remain healthy! Consider these healthy ways that can make Alzheimer’s disease much less likely to occur.
Keep a check on your bodily numbers
Make sure that your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure are not tipping the scale. Research has linked higher values of these conditions to an increased risk of contracting Alzheimer’s.
Diabetes is considered a risk factor for vascular dementia. This type of dementia occurs due to brain damage that is often caused by reduced or blocked blood flow to your brain.
Many people with diabetes have brain changes that are hallmarks of both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Some researchers think that each condition fuels the damage caused by the other.
Regular health check-ups with a dietary professional can keep you informed about what is needed to be done.
Exercising daily benefits not only your brain but also your body. It helps drive more blood to your brain, which is known to keep it healthy. One study found out that obesity can change the brain in such a way that it raises the risk of getting Alzheimer’s. Aim to exercise for at least half an hour for five days a week.
There is more and more evidence provided by research that suggests that receiving a good night’s sleep regularly can help the onset of many diseases. It keeps the mind fresh, alert, and prepared to take on the obstacles of the following day. It provides an opportunity for the mind to reset, refresh, and get rejuvenated.
Incorporate a Plant-Based diet
A plant-based diet is a diet consisting of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, and excludes animal sourced products like dairy and all kinds of meats. Switching to a plant based diet has been proven to foil the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Adhering to this diet has been shown to produce positive results linked with cognitive capacity.
Additionally, there are several herbs and spices that can help maintain and improve brain health, such as
Sage is known to improve cognition and aids in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease due to the compounds present in it that are beneficial to neurological function
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that is known to boost brain health and prevents Alzheimer’s by clearing beta-amyloid – protein fragments that accumulate in the brain.
Ashwagandha has been found to inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in preliminary research, according to a review study.
Saffron has a beneficial impact on concentration, learning, memory, and age related mental impairment. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics found that saffron improved cognitive function in study participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Stimulate your mind
Social interactions, mind-games, solving puzzles, and all such activities that stimulate the mind are proven to help the maintenance of the health of the brain. People who keep learning and challenging themselves are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s since they are a form of work out for the brain.
Be safe while traveling
Wearing a helmet while bicycling or biking and buckling up while driving a four-wheeler are not only preventative measures for general safety – but also to ensure that your head (and thus your brain) does not undergo any form of injury. Those with head injuries are more likely to suffer from a form of dementia in the future.
Cigarette smoking has been linked with an increased risk for AD (Alzheimer’s disease). Nicotine exposure and/or active smoking is related to a significant increase in the risk of AD due to the oxidative stress caused by the components. Despite there not being much evidence, a reduction in smoking will lead to a reduction in the future prevalence of AD.
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Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.