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  • 6/20/2013

How to prevent Alzheimer's disease

alzheimer

 

 

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a degenerative brain disorder. It breaks down and destroys brain cells and the neurons that connect brain cells to one another. This damage causes a decline in memory, behavior, and mental capabilities.

There is no cure for AD. Science has not yet identified any treatments that can slow or halt the progression of this disorder. Researchers also do not know how to prevent the onset of AD. But you can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by making a variety of lifestyle changes.

Keep your brain healthy, sharp, and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's with these scientifically-proven strategies

Eat more fruits and veggies

A population-based cohort study of 1,836 older Japanese-Americans found that consumption of fruit and vegetable juices was associated with decreased incidence of Alzheimer’s over seven to nine years of follow-up.

Reach for berries

Berries contain high levels of biologically active components, including a class of compounds called anthocyanosides, which fight memory impairment associated with free radicals and beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. Eat berries each day for maximum benefit.

Increase omega-3 fatty acids

In the Framingham study, individuals with the top quartile levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, measured at baseline had lower rates of Alzheimer’s over nine years of follow-up. These fish are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Take folic acid supplements

If you don't take a supplement, eat foods high in folate. High levels of homocysteine may be associated with poor cognitive function. Some findings indicate that reducing homocysteine with folic acid may increase cognitive function.

Control your blood pressure

Hypertension appears to be associated with an increased risk of both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Have strong social support

Findings indicate that an active social life and strong network of friends may help prevent Alzheimer’s in later life.

Aerobic exercise daily

When older adults with AD engage in aerobic exercise, it improves their psychological and behavioral symptoms.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s evidence suggesting that 30 minutes of exercise per day is crucial to preventing Alzheimer’s disease. One eight-year study examined the connection between mental function and physical activity in 6,000 women age 65 and older. It discovered that more active women were less likely to have a decline in mental functions than less active women.

Stop smoking

Smoking may increase your risk for AD and dementia. If you still smoke, now is the time to quit. Talk with your doctor about methods that could work for you.

The takeaway

Researchers don’t yet know how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. There are a number of things you can do to lower your risk of developing the disease. Staying mentally and physically fit, eating a healthy diet, and keeping an active social life are all thought to help lower your risk of cognitive decline, including AD. Fortunately, these are all good ways to stay healthy in general. Be sure to talk with your doctor about any new lifestyle changes that you plan.

Sources: 

healthline.com

prevention.com


Other links:

Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia and Gluten

Parkinson’s Disease

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