Can Alzheimer’s be Prevented?
Alzheimer’s is a devastating terminal illness that occurs due to generalized degeneration of the brain and that has the ability to severely impair an individual’s mental as well as physical faculties. A cure for Alzheimer’s has not yet been discovered, but many health professionals have turned their focus towards lifestyle changes that may prevent Alzheimer’s from ever afflicting individuals’ in the first place. On that note, here are several tips regarding changes that you or a loved one can make that may prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
- Participate In Physical Activities.
Exercising regularly can be a beneficial strategy if you want to lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Exercise has the potential to positively affect brain cells by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Additionally, exercise has cardiovascular benefits and, as several conditions known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, having a healthier heart may also lead to avoidance of Alzheimer’s.
- Consume Healthy Foods
Studies have demonstrated that heart-healthy eating can help protect the brain and reduce the risk of one getting Alzheimer’s disease. Following a dietary regimen that includes limiting intake of saturated fats and sugars while also eating larger amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a good way to stay healthy.
- Maintain Strong Social Connections
Whether it’s choosing to spend more time with children and grandchildren or going out weekly with close friends, studies have shown that maintaining social connections and being mentally active can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Social and mental stimulation fortify the connections between nerve cells in the brain, which may be the reason that a healthy amount of social interactions can prevent the development of Alzheimer’s.
- Get Lots of Sleep
New studies have emphasized that long-term sleep issues or disrupted sleep may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Numerous studies have linked poor sleep to higher levels of beta-amyloid, a brain clogging protein that interferes with the deep sleep necessary for memory formation. Studies have also demonstrated that uninterrupted sleep is important because it allows for the flushing out of brain toxins.
- Keep Stress Levels Low
Chronic, persistent stress can have a strong, negative impact on the brain and can even lead to shrinkage in an area of the brain that is key when it comes to memory. This alone increases the risk for Alzheimer’s, but stress can also be detrimental to nerve cell growth, which only furthers the likelihood that an individual will develop this. If you find yourself stressed-out often, try to participate in activities that relax you and will alleviate some of your stress. Examples of relaxing activities to participate in are: meditation, reading a favorite book, going for a walk, taking a hot bath, getting a massage, writing down daily thoughts in a journal, listening to soothing music and taking a nap.
- Prevent Head Trauma
Researchers and medical professionals have suggested that there is a strong positive correlation between risk of Alzheimer’s and serious head trauma. Although you may not think you will ever be exposed to head trauma, it can be caused by fairly normal occurrences such as falls or car accidents. You can reduce your risk of head trauma by “fall-proofing” your home, being aware of your surroundings, wearing your seatbelt anytime you get in a car and using a helmet if you plan on participating in sports or any physical activity that may require head protection.