Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk with These Lifestyle Choices

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a brain ailment that gradually impairs thinking and memory abilities as well as the capacity to do even the most basic tasks. Symptoms of the late-onset variety typically begin to show in the majority of patients in their mid-60s. Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent type of dementia, may be a factor in 60–70% of cases globally.

As we know, Alzheimer disease is very complex. Up until now, the investigations on Alzheimer disease are still ongoing to understand the disease’s causes and symptoms and find cutting-edge treatment options. It might seem it is going to be a long journey in understanding this disease, however, did you know that the risk of getting this disease can be reduced with lifestyle choices?

Increase Physical Training

Exercise more, the healthier you are. It may sound unpromising but people who are active in their mid-life have been shown to reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s risk. Numerous prospective studies have examined the impact of physical activity on middle-aged people’s thinking and memory in later life. Findings from 11 studies reveals that regular exercise can dramatically lower dementia risk by roughly 30%. The risk was cut by 45% specifically for Alzheimer’s disease.

What if you’re too late to start earlier? No worries, you can do it too. In a research of 716 participants with an average age of 82 years, those with the lowest daily physical activity levels had a two-to-one risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared to those with the highest levels. However physical activity does not mean only doing workouts, it also includes daily activity too such as cleaning, walking and other things that you can do at home that makes you move.

Eating healthy

No doubt healthy food choices are the best, but you might be confused on which diet you are going to choose right? Dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) and the Mediterranean diet are combined to create the high-quality Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is the best choice for reducing the risk of AD. The MIND diet emphasizes plant-based meals that have been associated with preventing dementia.

The MIND diet ingredients includes:

  1. Leafy green vegetables or other vegetables
  2. Berries
  3. Whole grains
  4. Fish
  5. Poultry
  6. Beans
  7. Nuts
  8. Olive oil

A right diet may have an impact on the molecular processes that underpin causes of this disease such as oxidative stress and inflammation or nutrition indirectly might affect other risk factors for AD, like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. But how does it affect your brain? 

The Mediterranean diet may enhance some nutrients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that may protect the brain. It may also block the beta-amyloid deposits that are present in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients or enhance cellular metabolism in ways that ward off the condition.

Quit Smoking

Are you a smoker? Be careful because it might affect your brain. It is well known that smoking will increase the risk of getting strokes which is one of the risk factors of dementia. In addition to that, smoking can cause inflammation and stress to the cell which can be linked to the cause of AD. The best way to quit smoking is with a combination of medication and counseling. You also can try to avoid any triggers to smoke or chewing candy to distract yourself.

Reduce Excessive Drinking

Alcohol consumption has been known to give you a negative effect on your brain. It can lead and worsen brain damage either short or in the long term. A cohort  study of 360 patients with early AD in New York, Boston, Baltimore and Paris shows that  Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline in AD patients, suggesting that they may hasten progression of AD.

In conclusion, further study needs to be done to accelerate treatment impacts and to understand more on lifestyle changes that can be incorporated in AD managements. Researchers are creating and evaluating numerous novel potential therapies in ongoing clinical trials. These consist of further immunotherapy, different medication regimens, brain training, diet, and exercise. This was done in hope that we can understand more about the disease and get more comprehensive prevention in early age. 

References

  1. What is Alzheimer’s disease? (n.d.). National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-alzheimers-disease
  2. Combination of healthy lifestyle traits may substantially reduce. (2020, June 17). National Institutes of Health (NIH). https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/combination-healthy-lifestyle-traits-may-substantially-reduce-alzheimers
  3. Reducing risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (2022, September 13). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/reducing-risk-of-alzheimers-disease/index.htm
  4. Heymann, D., Stern, Y., Cosentino, S., Tatarina-Nulman, O., Dorrejo, J., & Gu, Y. (2016). The association between alcohol use and the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Current Alzheimer Research, 13(12), 1356–1362. https://doi.org/10.2174/1567205013666160603005035
  5. What do we know about diet and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease? (n.d.). National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-do-we-know-about-diet-and-prevention-alzheimers-disease
  6. Physical exercise and dementia. (n.d.). Alzheimer’s Society. https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/risk-factors-and-prevention/
Dr Awam

Dr Awam

Here for your weekly tips to better awareness and caring for your health and safety!

All credits goes to Awam Clinic health promotion team.

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