Regular readers are aware that I took care of an aunt who suffered from Alzheimer’s for her final six years. Also, my mother yielded to dementia in her latter years. As a result, I am very sensitive to mental decline and plan to do everything in my power to prevent it happening to me. To clarify: Dementia is not a disease but a group of different diseases characterized by the gradual worsening of cognitive abilities. Dementia is seen across all ethnic groups and increasingly so with advancing age. Among 65–69-year-olds, about 2 percent are afflicted, with this figure doubling for every five years of age. Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia, accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases.
Helpguide.org offered some solid facts in that regard.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s there are a number of steps we can take to reduce our chances of getting it.
The Alzheimer’s Association says, “Like other parts of your body, your brain may lose some agility as you get older. It can deteriorate even more if you don’t take care of it. Science is unlocking many of the mysteries of the brain, but we don’t have all the answers yet. You can do everything “right” and still not prevent Alzheimer’s disease.”
“New research reveals that lifestyle factors play a significant role in protecting your brain as you age. You can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by eating right, exercising, staying mentally and socially active, and keeping stress in check. By leading a brain-healthy lifestyle, you may even be able to prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease entirely and slow down, or even reverse, the deterioration of aging,” Helpguide said.
This was music to my ears and explains why we have written repeatedly about the value of exercise in slowing the ‘usual shrinkage’ of the brain which does not have to occur.
Helpguide offered the following six pillars of a brain-healthy lifestyle:
While some factors, such as your genes, are out of your control, many powerful lifestyle factors are within your sphere of influence.
The six pillars of a brain-healthy lifestyle:
1. Regular exercise
2. Healthy diet
3. Mental stimulation
4. Quality sleep
5. Stress management
6. An active social life
The more you strengthen each of the six pillars in your daily life, the healthier and hardier your brain will be.
When you lead a brain-healthy lifestyle, your brain will stay working stronger…longer.
I have written about several of these pillars and you can explore further our previous posts:
Check out my Page – Important Facts About your Brain
Exercise, Aging and the Brain
Also, How Does Exercise Benefit the Brain
Mediterranean Diet Linked to Slower Mental Decline – Tufts
Stress Management – The Power and Benefits of Relaxation
The tags at the right of this page offer further examples. Simply click on the tag that you want to know more about.
You can take a 16 segment visual interactive tour of the brain here offered by the Alzheimer’s Association.
3 responses to “How to Reduce Your Risks of Alzheimer’s and Dementia”
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I never, ever thought I would need to understand this thank goodness for
You absolutely need to understand this.