Dementia. Alzheimer’s. Losing your mind. Call it what you like, but when it comes down to it, the risk of your memory and your mind dwindling away day by day is flat-out frightening. So what can you do? Take that risk down a notch by learning the seven things you can do right now to prevent developing this dreadful disease.
There are a number of health concerns in today’s culture that are prevalent-and many without cures. One of these is Alzheimer’s Disease, which affects approximately 5 million people in this country alone. While many people are fearful of contracting all sorts of heart conditions and Cancers, Alzheimer’s Disease is at the top of most people’s list as far as conditions that they are scared of being victim to. Why is this? Simply, because no one is fully aware of what causes are to blame for the condition; as well as the condition being characterized by loss of memory, delusions, and violent behavior. It is a tragic set of circumstances for both the victim and the victim’s family.
Of course more and more scientific study is being done to better understand the disease, so that one day, we will have a verifiable cure for its symptoms in patients. During the process of this, a number of determined and confirmed lifestyle variables have been shown as constants in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, and also those who do not contract it. While genetics will always play a part in the contraction of Alzheimer’s Disease, there are seven major lifestyle factors that are linked to preventing it. Here they are-some may surprise you:
- Diet/Supplements: The first statistical tie to warding off Alzheimer’s Disease is a diet rich in vegetables and omega3 fatty acids. While there has been no evidence that meat and other more fatty proteins and/or dairy have any link to Alzheimer’s; it has been shown that less overall saturated fat intake is better for not contracting it. Moreover, supplements of omega-3 fatty acids or more dependence on foods that contain it shows benefits against the disease.
- Health Conditions: Another factor — while closely tied to the previous lifestyle choice — is that of prevalent health conditions that the patient may already have. To note, high blood pressure, Diabetes, obesity, brain injury, and sleep apnea are all linked in some degree to Alzheimer ’s disease.
- Psychological Wellbeing: Many studies have shown that those suffering from chronic depression in their lives prior to old age have a greater tendency towards developing Alzheimer’s. Some scientists believe that “depressed mood can be a sign of early dementia” but no confirmed report has been evidenced.
- Smoking/ Drinking Habits: There has also been a link shown between people who have smoked cigarettes and those who have mental decline, such as that seen in Alzheimer’s. Moreover, those who have had an addiction to drinking alcohol, have also seen a connection to the disease; though not is yet known on how much of either factors into the disease.
- Hereditary Conditions: As mentioned before, though it is not a choice; hereditary conditions are at play in whether or not you are more susceptible to contracting Alzheimer’s. “Most studies have demonstrated an increased rate of cognitive loss in elderly folks who carry the ApoE gene variation, especially on memory tasks and the ability to quickly identify objects and faces.” Although you may not be able to do anything about this one, knowledge is still power.
- Exercise and Hobbies: Though much more research must be done on the connection, there is evidence that shows that those regularly engaged in exercise and hobbies have a lowered chance of getting Alzheimer’s.
- Social and Cognitive Engagement: Lastly, scientists say that social and cognitive involvement is another factor that helps to ward off Alzheimer’s as they help our brains continuously work to understand and learn.
If you could do any or all of these seven things to prevent Alzheimer’s, wouldn’t it be worth the minimal extra time and effort?