Alzheimer’s disease currently affects over 5 million Americans, which is why it’s never been more vital to incorporate Alzheimer’s prevention methods into your daily routine.
Read on to learn more about the role of diet and exercise in Alzheimers preventions, and which actions you can start taking today.
What is Alzheimer’s
Before diving into the preventative measures available for Alzheimer’s, it’s important to know more about the condition and its various symptoms. Alzheimer’s is defined as a progressive neurologic disease in which a state of dementia gradually increases.
While the condition is more commonly found in senior citizens, early onset Alzheimers does occur. Factors such as genetics, previous medical history, and a pre-existing brain injury can increase the chances of developing Alzheimer’s. In addition to memory, loss Alzheimer’s can lead to other conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Who is at Risk for Alzheimer’s
Due to the limited research studies dedicated to Alzheimer’s, we have yet to pinpoint a direct cause for the development of the condition. However, some factors have been found to increase the chance of developing Alzheimer’s. These risks include:
- Family History: One of the strongest identifying factors that someone is at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s is their family history. This can be the case even if the condition arises every other generation.
- Age: As you age, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases, as the neuron adapters within the brain tend to weaken over time.
- Genetics: Scientists have found that some gene patterns tend to have an increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Both risk genes and deterministic genes can lead to Alzheimer’s.
- Additional Risks: In addition to these risks, outside factors such as head injury, neurological developmental disorders, and learning disabilities have all been found to show an increase in the chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
Symptoms and Signs of Alzheimer’s
If you believe that you or a loved one may be developing Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to know about the symptoms and signs to recognize it early on and avoid rapid progression. Some symptoms of Alzheimer’s includes:
- Disruptive Memory Loss
- Difficulty with Problem Solving
- Find Simple, Familiar Tasks are Becoming More Challenging
- Feeling Confused ABout Places or Timing
- Trouble Recognizing Visual Images
- A Sudden Development of a Speech Disorder
- An Inability to Recall Certain Words
- Finding You’re Misplacing Things More Frequently
- Making Poor Judgement Calls
- A Decline in Your Social and Professional Life
While there is currently no cure to Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have found various preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of developing the condition. Some preventative measures include:
- Regular exercise, particularly cardiovascular
- A heart-healthy diet rich in fruits and low in processed sugar and saturated fats
- A healthy and consistent social life
- Taking actions to reduce the chance of head trauma (seat belts, helmets, etc.)
- Regular Brain Exercises Such as Learning a new language, a new instrument, or practicing brain teasers.
The Role of Exercise in Alzheimers Prevention
An increasing number of studies are now showing that aerobic exercise may play a major role in Alzheimer’s prevention. Due to the various findings, the World Health Organization (WHO) strongly suggests that adults aged 65 and older fit at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week.
Overall, aerobic exercise has been directly linked to an increase in cognitive functioning, with a lack of exercise even resulting in rapid cognitive decline. By making aerobic exercise an integral part of your morning routine you can dramatically decline the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s and other brain degenerative diseases.
Best Types of Exercises for Alzheimer’s Prevention
When utilizing exercise as a form of Alzheimer’s prevention, researchers suggest focusing on aerobic exercises. Some impactful aerobic exercises may include:
- Burpee 180 Jump
- Lateral Toe Taps
- Mini-Band Frog Jumps
- Lateral Shuffle Taps
- Sit Outs
- Bench Runners
- Jump Rope
- Overhead Walking Lunges
- Banded Vertical Jacks
- Fast-Feet Drop
- Jumping Split Squat
- Beast Shoulder Taps
- Mountain Climbers Pushup
- Dumbbell Thrusters
- Dumbbell Power Cleans
- Dumbbell Seesaw Press
- Pushup Bent-Over Rows
- Suicide Sprints
Alzheimer’s Treatment Options
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are some choices when treating and reducing the symptoms that accompany the condition. If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce or slow the memory loss.
You may also receive medication for sleep problems such as insomnia, that often arises as a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease often experience a change in mood and may notice they are more irritable, anxious or are experiencing symptoms of depression. In such a case, a doctor may prescribe mood stabilizers or they may refer you to a licensed therapist.
Support for Friends and Family
It can be difficult to watch someone you love struggle with the symptoms that come from Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are steps you can take to show your love and support for friends and family suffering from the condition. The first step you can take is to educate yourself fully about the condition to gain a better understanding of what your loved one is struggling with.
As challenging as it may be to witness the enhancement of the condition, it’s important to stay in touch to show that you care. Engage in conversation and try to help with tasks that may have become a challenge.
Looking Beyond Alzheimers Prevention
While it’s important to incorporate various Alzheimers prevention techniques, particularly for those with an increased risk of developing the condition, sometimes it is not enough.
When Alzheimer’s disease is a reality for you or your loved ones it’s important to create an atmosphere that reduces the degree of the symptoms. Contact us today to learn more about our residences and services.