Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

By on 09/07/2017

alzheimersSeptember is Alzheimer’s awareness month, so let’s take a moment to discuss, shall we?

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that destroys memory and other critical mental functions over time due to the death of brain cells.

Unfortunately, it is rather common, with over 3 million cases diagnosed per year.

Progression sometimes takes many years, but sometimes it can greatly destroy memory in just a matter of months.

What causes Alzheimer’s?

Scientists have not identified a single cause of Alzheimer’s. All we know is it is a combination of genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors that lead to the eventual diagnosis.

We also know that as age increases so does the risk. In fact, after the age of 60, the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s doubles every 10 years.

Additionally, women seem to develop the disease at a higher rate than men (this could simply be due to the fact that women tend to live longer than men overall).

Finally, there is also a link between past head trauma and future Alzheimer’s diagnoses. Researchers don’t yet know why, but there is a link between head trauma and dementia.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Forgetfulness and/or confusion that seems to be getting worse over time, including:

forgetfulness

  • Repeating thoughts and questions over without realizing it
  • Forgetting conversations or appointments and not recalling them when reminded
  • Misplacing objects, often putting them in strange places (keys in fridge, etc)
  • Getting lost in a place that is familiar
  • Forgetting names and faces of family members, friends, and coworkers (Advanced)
  • Having trouble finding the right words to say

Struggling with concentration, focus, multitasking and longer thought processes is also a red flag.

Finally, drastic changes in mood or personality. Examples include depression, social withdrawal, mood swings, irritability, becoming more aggressive, change in sleeping habits, delusions, paranoia and wandering.

Prevention and Treatment

Because you cannot trace back the cause to one key element, Alzheimer’s can best be prevented by ensuring a healthy lifestyle that supports brain health. This is also the best way to combat the effects of Alzheimer’s if you or a loved one have been diagnosed. The longer you are able to keep brain cells alive and functioning and neuropathways connected, the longer you can hold back the degenerative effects of the disease.

Here are the best ways to support a healthy and sharp mind, keeping dementia at bay:

Take supplements. Take supplements that support brain health and cellular growth and work to eliminate free radicals (cell destroyers). Pair an Omega-3 supplement along with a supplement like PhytoStem (which has a proprietary formula that contains the clinically proven amount of 80 essential elements that are needed for cellular rejuvenation. They include phenols, amino acids, essential acid fats, 40 essential antioxidants, minerals and vitamins) to get an amazing brain boost all the way down to a cellular level.

Play brain games. Staying mentally active is a big factor in prevention and research has found that keeping the brain active increases its power and can help build reserves of brain cells and connections. Google “brain games” and you will find hundreds of pages of free games and apps to help you keep your mind sharp. Or simply sit down with the weekly paper and do the crossword and sudoku puzzles.

Stay involved socially. Studies show those who stay connected socially, and often visit with others have a lower occurrence of dementia. Lunch dates, volunteering, part time work and family time are all great ways to engage all areas of your brain.alzheimers prevention

Exercise. Cardiovascular exercise, like running, biking or swimming, raises the heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain, which supports overall brain health and function. It also can help offset obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, all of which are linked to higher instances of dementia.

Eat right. Eat green leafy vegetables and other veggies, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and moderate amounts of wine. Avoid red meat, butter, cheese, sweet, fried foods and fast foods. This diet (called the MIND Diet) has been shown to offer substantial protection from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Alzheimer’s currently has no cure. Unfortunately, once diagnosed, Alzheimer’s patients will eventually succumb to the disease, forgetting simple tasks like how to dress, and no longer recognizing or remembering loved ones. However, changing your diet and lifestyle habits and taking small steps to support better brain function can go a long way in preventing or significantly delaying the onset of this terrible disease.

 

About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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