Alzheimer’s Prevention

Time and time again, we have read that by 2050, 13.5 million Americans are predicted to be diagnosed, or have Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Jack C. de la Torre, a prominent Alzheimer’s researcher at the National Institutes of Health-funded Banner Sun Health Research Institute, says that a cure for Alzheimer’s is not in our immediate future and, “the answer is prevention, the same strategy we use against other chronic diseases of aging, such as heart disease. The evidence that we can cut our risk of Alzheimer’s is compelling and mounting constantly.”

When researching the main causes of Alzheimer’s, experts observed common factors that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s are similar to those for heart attacks and strokes such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity. Dr. De la Torre points out that, “taking care of your heart protects your brain.”

By the time Alzheimer’s disease appears, irreversible damage has already occurred. Preventing and delaying Alzheimer’s includes three protective tips:

1. Avoid toxins — Cut out smoking and heavy drinking. Smoking increases the odds for those over 65 by nearly 79%…brain changes from alcohol abuse can only be reversed early.
2. Wear a helmet — and limit distractions. Head trauma at any point in life significantly increases risk. Preserve your brain by wearing a helmet when playing any sports or when riding a motorcycle.
3. Create a “brain-safe environment” — Lead, pesticides, mold and other substances in your environment may damage your brain. Make choices that limit chronic exposure to environmental harm.

Alzheimer’s develops slowly just like heart disease and cancer, but the lifestyle choices we make do, play a role in the onset of the disease. Eat healthy, follow the Mediterranean diet and drink tea daily. In summary, try to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices into your everyday routine whenever you can. Investing in your diet, exercise, mental stimulation, and rest will help you feel better now and keep your brain working stronger…longer.

“Cypress HomeCare Solutions ensures all caregivers receive specialized in-house training in both dementia and Alzheimer’s care in Joan S. Roth Caregiver Training Lab.”

Posted on November 16, 2010