Prevent Alzheimers
Through A Mindful Lifestyle

To prevent Alzheimers, a horribly debilitating disease that has to date no cure, we all must do everything we can. 

It’s encouraging to know that there are things we can do to help prevent this curse. I’ll get to that in a minute.

To prevent the disease, you and I first need to be aware of what it is, and what causes it.

This disease, named after the German psychiatrist Dr. Alois Alzheimer is the most common form of dementia.

It worsens progressively, and eventually leads to death.

The average life expectancy after diagnosis is around seven years.

Alzheimer's disease is caused by…

Well, actually this is not known exactly. 

People afflicted with the disease have abnormal amounts of amyloid plaques (a type of protein) and fibers (tau tangles) in the brain. Their brain atrophies, thus damaging its structure and functionality.

Specifically, nerve cells (neurons) that function as message carriers are gradually being destroyed. And the damage spreads from there.

Alzheimer's is among the most costly and devastating diseases in America, as it impacts not only the afflicted, but also loved ones and extended families.

The number of Americans aged 65 and older who have this disease may increase from almost 6 million to 13 million by 2050.

That's one in eight persons age 65 and older - today!

In other words, if they make it to this ripe old age, 50 percent of Americans will have Alzheimer's disease by age 85. 

Fifty percent!

If it's not you, it's your spouse.

If it's not your spouse, it's you...

To really try and prevent Alzheimers, you need to know what the risk factors for this dreadful disease are.

  • Age is a risk factor that can’t be changed. The risk doubles every 5 years after age 65
  • Genetics - or family history - could be a contributing, albeit insignificant, factor
  • Head injuries can increase your risk of Alzheimer's

However...

All of the next risk factors can be eliminated! 

They are associated with lifestyle and therefore can most likely be prevented, controlled or reversed. They include

  • Smoking
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Prolonged stress

What about drugs/medication?

They are of little to NO benefit. This underscores the importance of prevention throughout your lifetime!


 Do This To Prevent Alzheimers

The three Golden Rules to follow in order to prevent Alzheimers are

  1. Change or improve your nutrition
  2. Start or continue good exercise habits
  3. Get enough quality sleep

Science clearly indicates that a healthy, well-balanced diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fruits and plant-based protein is associated with good cognitive function.

On the other hand, highly processed foods with refined carbohydrates and saturated fats, are guilty of aiding in cognitive decline. 

To find more information regarding this topic, click on Brain Health.

New research also points to metals that, if absorbed in excess from foods, liquids and the environment, can do great harm to your brain. These metals are iron, copper, zinc, and aluminum.

Again, if you choose a healthy whole foods, plant-based diet you should be fine.

It’s also advisable to avoid supplements that include these metals.

On the subject of supplements…

Additional research indicates that vitamin B supplements can help protect seniors against Alzheimer's disease.

There are eight B vitamins, and supplements that contain a combination of these, known as vitamin B complex, are available.

Of course, leafy green vegetables and legumes are always a good bet, as they are high in B vitamins. See Brain Foods for more.

On to the second Golden Rule…


Start Or Continue Good Exercise Habits

Studies show that regular physical activity, such as Exercise for Seniors, benefits your brain in many ways. 

It keeps your mental functions from declining. In other words, it keeps your thinking, your judgment and your learning skills sharp. 

It keeps your arteries open and your blood flowing -- the all-important means for nutrient and oxygen transportation to the brain.

So, in summary, maintain your brain healthy and your body fit to help prevent Alzheimers disease.

As to the third Golden Rule, new studies (published in March 2014) indicate very clearly that poor sleeping habits cause damage to the brain.

Lack of quality sleep puts you at great risk of early onset of severe dementia as well as Alzheimer's disease.

One more thing…

Make sure to stay not only physically active, but also socially active (read more about Social Health here).

Social and intellectually stimulating activities, such as playing games and sports with friends, will keep you younger than your years.

Just think.



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"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

-- George Eliot,           English novelist