What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and chronic neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia. It starts with difficulty remembering past and recent events and gets progressively worse over time. The 6th deadliest disease in the USA kills more people than breast or prostate cancer, and the worst thing about it is that the number of cases is constantly going up.
There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease – at least not yet. The medical community is currently focused on treating the symptoms instead of focusing on the disease itself, which is wrong and may have fatal consequences.
What is Dementia?
Dementia isn’t a disease itself. It’s actually an umbrella term for a wide range of brain diseases that manifest through losing the ability to think and remember. In most cases, Alzheimer’s disease is the main cause of dementia, although other factors can trigger the development of the condition.
Some of the risk factors for dementia are head trauma, smoking, old age, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, obesity, no physical activity, and depression.
Some of the varieties of dementia besides Alzheimer’s disease include Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
As we already mentioned, medicine has failed to find an effective treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Everything is focused on reducing the symptoms, which is effective up to a point. The severity of the disease can be reduced if you can recognize the early symptoms on time. Lethargy and depression seem to be the most common, with loss of focus and orientation and difficulty remembering recent events also affecting most patients.
In most cases, Alzheimer’s disease comes as a result of a buildup of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain, which cause cell damage and death. The good news is that this can be prevented by making tiny lifestyle changes.
Habits that Can Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Aside from being absolutely detrimental for your lungs and overall health, smoking is harmful to your brain as well. It’s one of the biggest risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have found that smoking causes oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain cells, which damages and eventually kills them, resulting in Alzheimer’s disease.
Increase Your Vitamin B Intake
Surprisingly, a few studies have found a link between the disease and low vitamin B levels. Vitamin B can reduce the level of the so-called homocysteines in the blood. These compounds have been associated with a number of vascular and neurological problems, so keeping your vitamin B intake at an optimal level can actually prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Raise Your Vitamin D Intake
Just like vitamin B, vitamin D is also essential for our brain. If you want to keep your brain sharp at all times, you need to increase your vitamin D intake. The best and easiest ways to do this is to get at least 15 minutes of sunlight per day.
Stay Physically Active
As we already mentioned, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s. If you want to keep your physical and mental health in check, stay physically active. You don’t have to hit the gym or jog every day – there are plenty of exercises you can do at home.
Keep Your Brain Sharp
“Training your brain” by keeping it active all the time is a great way to keep it sharp and prevent mental decline. Learning new information can help as can solving puzzles and playing scrabble or chess. Any kind of mental activity can help, so keep your brain sharp, people.
A glass of alcohol or two per day is fine. Actually, it’s even healthy. However, anything more than that can seriously harm your mental health and your cardiovascular health as well. Control your alcohol intake and you’ll keep your brain sharp, effectively reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Prevent Head Trauma
As head injuries are a major risk factors for Alzheimer’s, preventing them makes a lot of sense. If you’re cycling, riding a motorbike or skiing, always wear a helmet. It will protect your head and keep you safe in case of injuries.
Hang Out with People
Humans are social creatures. We are meant to hang out with each other, not sit at home locked up. Not being socially active can actually raise the risk of dementia. Feeling lonely has been associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, so if you want to stay mentally sharp, hang out with your friends more often.