Thinking about developing Alzheimer’s Disease is scary, but with early detection and risk management interventions, you can reduce your chances of contracting this terrible disease. It’s the most common type of dementia, which is a group of brain diseases that cause a decline in memory and other intellectual functions. In the U.S., more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease — that’s about one in every 65 — and among them, 200,000 are under the age of 65. Moreover, it’s estimated that by 2050, there will be as many as 16 million people with Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. That means today is the perfect time to start taking steps to prevent Alzheimer's disease or slow its progression if you're at risk.
3 Ways to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Early detection and risk management interventions, you can reduce your chances of contracting this terrible disease.
Note - Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease that cannot be cured. There is no specific treatment or cure, though there are medications that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
You’ve probably heard people say cholesterol isn’t a big deal, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Cholesterol is actually a very important substance that your body needs to function properly. It’s a type of fat found in all of your cells, blood and organs that is necessary for the production of hormones, vitamin D and bile acids, which help you digest fat. Cholesterol can become a problem when there is too much of it in your body, which can cause it to build up in your blood vessels, like arteries. This can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots. This is particularly important as people with Alzheimer’s disease often have high levels of cholesterol, which is thought to contribute to the development of the disease and the worsening of symptoms.
As we age, our brains may become less efficient, but we can make efforts to slow or prevent this. Some people experience declines in memory and other cognitive abilities as they age, but others show no signs at all. Factors such as genetics, lifestyle and diet can influence your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish, and limiting processed foods, red meat and sugar, can help to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise can also play an important role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise can help improve blood flow to the brain, which is important for nourishing and protecting neurons, the cells responsible for processing information. And, it can also increase the amount of a protein in the brain called BDNF, which has been shown to improve learning and memory.
As you age, it is important to stay socially and mentally engaged in order to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that cognitively stimulating activities, such as reading, playing games, and learning a new language can help improve your memory, reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and even delay its onset by two years. There are many ways to stay mentally active and socially engaged as you age. These include reading, participating in cognitively stimulating activities (such as games and puzzles), getting regular exercise, spending time in nature and connecting with friends and family.