7 Effective Tips to Prevent Alzheimer’s
We all have moments of forgetfulness. Sometimes we forget where we put objects, the answers in the test, and worst of all: your wedding anniversary. Memory lapses are quite normal, but persistent and worsening memory lapses? That could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is the progressive worsening or loss of intellectual and social abilities that can hinder a person’s daily function. This is the most common cause of dementia, according to the Department of Health. As the disease progresses, the brain will continue to shrink while brain cells die.
Aside from worsening memory loss, a person with Alzheimer’s disease may experience these symptoms:
- Forgetting conversations, events, etc
- Challenge in finishing sentences
- Repeating questions or statements
- Abstract thinking difficulties
- Misplacing items frequently
- Getting lost in familiar places
- Time disorientation
- Forgetting names of objects, friends, and loved ones
- Finding it hard to express thoughts
- Impaired reasoning/thinking
- Struggling to perform daily tasks
- Becoming distrustful of others
- Mood swings
- Irritability and aggression
- Sleeping habit changes
- Social withdrawal
As time passes, the person’s condition will worsen and develop different complications. A complication brought by impaired cognitive function can lead to the person to not follow prescribed treatments well or communicate pain and side effects.
The brain shrinking and brain cell death will affect the function of several organs. The person will have problems in balance, swallowing, urination, and defecation. Also, they will have an increased risk of falling, fractures, bedsores, inhaling food or liquid into the lungs, constipation, dehydration, diarrhea, malnutrition, mouth sores, and tooth decay.
What causes Alzheimer’s disease?
The root cause remains a mystery to doctors, but several factors increase the risk of developing it:
- Family history and genetics
- Old age
- Down Syndrome
- Head trauma
- People with MCI
- Air pollution
- Poor Sleep
- Excessive Alcohol
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Having a cardiovascular disease
How to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way of Alzheimer’s prevention. Making better lifestyle choices is one good way to protect yourself from it.
You may not protect yourself from risk factors like aging, family history, and down syndrome but doing these things will reduce the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Having a cardiovascular disease (CVD) increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. As one study suggests, many cardiovascular risk factors are associated with cognitive decline which may cause developing Alzheimer’s disease.
One way to reduce its risk is to reduce CVD risk. Here are some things you can do:
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Monitor blood pressure
- Maintain a healthy weight
2. Stop Smoking
Smoking is one of the deadliest vices you can do. There is a reason there are a lot of warnings about the deadly diseases they can cause. One of those diseases is cardiovascular disease, which is one of the largest risk factors for Alzheimer’s.
The solution to this is simple, stop smoking to reduce your Alzheimer’s risk.
3. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Heavy alcohol consumption over a long period can have severe negative effects on your brain. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, excessive alcohol consumption can cause brain damage by reducing the volume of white brain matter, which helps transmit signals between brain regions.
It’s not bad to enjoy a few bottles of beer or a glass of wine from time to time. Just avoid frequent heavy drinking to protect your brain and reduce Alzheimer’s risk.
4. Read Everyday
Reading is one of the simplest things you can do to reduce Alzheimer’s risk. The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation states that reading different materials, writing, and taking part in any mentally stimulating activity can help with brain health. These activities keep memory and thinking skills intact, which significantly protects you from Alzheimer’s.
You may find it boring compared to other activities you can find in this list, but it is effective. To enjoy reading, pick whatever topic fancies you and start from there. Not only will you protect your brain but it will also make you a smarter individual.
5. Play Instruments
People love music. Some love to listen and dance to them, while others play them. Did you know that people who play music and musical instruments are less likely to develop MCI, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
In a 2019 systematic review by S Walsh et al., they found out that several studies found out that playing musical instruments reduces MCI and dementia risks.
Pick any instrument you want and practice it regularly.
6. Sleep At Least 8 Hours A Day
Getting enough rest allows your body and mind to recharge and recover. Lack of sleep is also a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
A 2018 study conducted by E Shokri-Kojori et al., found out that one night of sleep deprivation affects the right hippocampus and thalamus, which increases Alzheimer’s risk.
While your 12-16 hour grind and hustle is admirable, you must not forget to get enough sleep. You may get a lot of income today, but you may just forget about everything important to you one day.
7. Maintain an Active Social Life
Humans are social beings and are not meant to live in isolation for long periods of time. Long periods of isolation and loneliness can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, as one study suggests.
To reduce its risk, get in touch with family and friends or meet new people to keep an active social life. Playing group sports and trying hobbies with other people can help too.
To conclude, Alzheimer’s disease is a severe illness that will make your mental and physical wellbeing deteriorate. While you’re young, it is best to make good lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of developing this disease. Following the 7 tips in this list can significantly help you avoid Alzheimer’s.
Always remember that choosing better lifestyle choices today can give you a bright and healthy future.