Alzheimer’s disease is feared by many as it not only wreaks havoc in the lives of those who are afflicted, but also their families. While years of research and studies have been unsuccessful in finding a viable and complete cure for the neuro-degenerative disorder, there are still certain precautions that can be taken to reduce its onset risk.
Researchers have found three effective ways in which it is possible to ward off Alzheimer’s. They reveal that cognitive training, monitoring one’s blood pressure, and a physical activity are three possible means of staving off the disease.
What Is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and generally starts with mild loss of memory. This can advance to such a stage that it becomes impossible for the affected individual to carry on a simple conversation, or respond to their environment at large.
The first symptoms start showing after one reaches 60 years, although rare cases of Alzheimer’s in younger patients have also been diagnosed. Even though it affects the elderly, Alzheimer’s is not a normal stage of the aging process.
Warning signs of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease include getting lost, difficulty in handling monetary transactions, poor judgment, misplacing and losing personal properties, and many more. As there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, treatment often involves slowing or delaying the onset of more serious symptoms, as well as trying to improve the patients’ quality of life.
However, researchers claim that following a trio of rules from early life can reduce the chances of ever being affected by dementia even after a certain age.
Three Things That May Help Ward Off Alzheimer’s
Blood Pressure Management
Health experts claim that high blood pressure may not be only damaging for a person’s heart but also adds the risk of developing cognitive impairment in later life. This may be because high blood pressure harms the vessels carrying blood to the brain.
The researchers also suggested that it was important to engage the brain regularly in activities or cognitive training. This does not simply mean solving crossword puzzles or doing Sudoku but goes deeper into the everyday activities that people partake in. Scientists claimed that rather than using the calculator on smartphones for figuring out the simple mathematical solutions, people should instead try to perform the same calculation in their heads. Similarly, rather than writing down the grocery list, people should try to memorize it.
These small ways of engaging the memory building and retaining portions of the brain may go a long way in the fight against Alzheimer’s in later life.
Increased Physical Activity
The researchers assert in the study entitled Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward that physical activity or any form of regular exercise has beneficial effects on reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s onset. Experts clarify that exercise here means light aerobic activity, such as brisk walking for around 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
“Is it going to prevent Alzheimer’s disease? I can’t say that. But I think it may have an effect on reducing cognitive impairment,” Dr. Ronald Peterson, an Alzheimer’s expert at the Mayo Clinic, asserts.
Olive Oil Reduces Risk Of Alzheimer’s?
Apart from these three measures, a new study performed by researchers at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University on mice showed that consumption of diet enriched with extra virgin olive oil caused the rodents to retain better memory and cognitive functions vis-à-vis the control group.
“Thanks to the autophagy activation, memory and synaptic integrity were preserved, and the pathological effects in animals otherwise destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease were significantly reduced,” Domenico Pratico, the senior researcher of the study noted.
However, the results were reflected in mice and human testing may reveal completely different results. Thus, for now, start exercising, control your blood pressure levels, and engaging your mind regularly to avoid dementia.
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