Top 7 Tips to Prevent Alzheimers Disease

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Despite the absence of a cure for Alzheimer’s, there are some proven ways to help your brain stay young and lessen your chances of developing this disease.

1.Ongoing mental and physical exercise

Exercise keeps the brain healthy. Either use it or lose it. Regular physical activity increases the blood flow to the brain and provides the nutrients necessary to render its tissues resistant to Alzheimer’s. Exercise also increases the number of connections among the millions of brain cells needed for normal mental function. Get into the habit of walking for thirty or sixty minutes a day as briskly as possible. Stair climbing is particularly effective, so take the steps when going up or down one or two flights and leave the elevators and escalators to the kids.

2.Education

Several population studies have shown that the more schooling you have, the greater are your chances against Alzheimer’s. That may be because the educated are more likely to eat more nutritiously and receive better medical care throughout their lives. However, like physical exercise, ongoing intellectual challenges stimulate the formation of nerve connections. Even if you are destined to develop Alzheimer’s, the more neutrons you develop when you are young, the more you can afford to lose before symptoms set in.

Many retired seniors sign up for classes in accounting, law, art, music, economics, or whatever else interests them to stay mentally active, and not necessarily to start a second career. The longer you continue your education at any age, or keep your mind busy in some other way, the more likely your neurons are to connect with each other later on.

3.Reaction to stress

Stress is blamed for almost everything that goes wrong in life. Although stress is a convenient scapegoat, it probably does play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s. The body reacts to stress by producing extra amounts of cortisol, a hormone that shrinks the hippocampus, the area in the brain that controls the memory and interferes with its normal function. The calmer and more self confident you are in a crisis, whether it is short-lived or prolonged, the less cortisol is produced.

4.Diet

Eat as little animal fat as possible to reduce your vulnerability to Alzheimer’s. The incidence of Alzheimer’s in different countries correlates with the consumption of total fat. Fro example, in the United States, 5 percent of all persons over the age of sixty-five have the disease, while in China and Nigeria, where the fat intake is much lower, the incidence is only 1 percent. Japanese who move to America and double the amount of fat in their diet have twice the incidence of Alzheimer’s than do those who do not emigrate and presumably maintain their old eating habits.

5.Nicotine

Nicotine is a prime example of how new research data can supersede and negate previously acquired information. We used to believe that smokers were less likely than non-smokers to develop Alzheimer’s. But the anti-tobacco community is now breathing easier because more recent studies indicate that smoking doubles the risk of getting Alzheimer’s.

6.Vitamin E

Hardly a day does by without some favorable report about vitamin E. I can’t think of any downside of this vitamin, with the possible exception of its raising blood pressure and causing some extra beats in some people. Vitamin E increases fertility in rats; it’s good for the heart; and many doctors prescribe it for the treatment of vascular disease, particularly for narrowing the arteries in the legs. Now comes word that vitamin E may also delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, presumably by virtue of its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants, of which there are many, are said to neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals, the byproducts of bodily process that involve oxygen. These radicals carry an extra electron that can damage the protein in the brain and other organs and accelerate the aging process. The body’s own antioxidant normally neutralizes these free radicals, but this defense can be enhanced by supplemental vitamin E.

7.Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Millions of us use these drugs for relief of everything from headache to arthritis. In recent years, researchers noted a 50 percent lower incidence of Alzhemier’s in persons with rheumatoid arthritis who had been using these drugs for any length of time. Alzheimer patients who take aspirin or other NSAIDs have better verbal and mental functioning scores too, and the rate of their overall deterioration is measurably slower.
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