8 Tips for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

8 Tips for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

8 Tips for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a frightening disease to develop yourself and to watch a loved one suffer with. It is a common form of dementia that eventually kills brain cells,  affecting the memory, thinking, and behavior of people. The main symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially with newly learned information. It is caused by neurofibrillary tangles and protein deposits that build up in the brain. While it usually occurs in older people, it is not a normal part of aging. However, with over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, it is the 6th leading cause of death. It kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. So what can you do to prevent developing Alzheimer’s disease? Here is an accumulation of tips that researchers and doctors say can help reduce your risk and delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Exercise regularly. Exercise can help protect the brain and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.
  2. Limit your sugar intake. Having excess sugar can lead to the shrinking of your hippocampus, a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Lowering your glucose levels, regardless of whether or not you have diabetes, can have a positive influence on cognitive function and lessen your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
  3. Maintain healthy diet. A diet high in nutrients and low in fat and sugar can help reduce inflammation in the brain and protect you from cognitive decline. A 2006 study shows that raw fruit and vegetable juices play a critical part in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Blueberries, in particular,  are known for improving memory and cognitive function.
  4. Reduce stress. If you are already at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, you are much more likely to develop it if you also have high levels of stress and anxiety.
  5. Get a good night’s sleep. Growing evidence suggests that getting enough sleep can help to prevent Alzheimer’s. Most doctors suggest about 8 hours a night.
  6. Stay social. Constantly engaging the brain by socializing can help grow new brain cells and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.
  7. Learn new things, such as a language. Adding another language to your vocabulary can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by 4 years.
  8. Stop smoking cigarettes. Smoker’s are 45% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

Each of these tips are small lifestyle changes you can make to protect your brain from developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Whether you know that Alzheimer’s is in your genetics or not, anyone can develop it. It is important to do what you can reduce your risk or at least delay the disease from developing.

 

Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 37 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 36 years. Steve Lipsky on Google Plus