A brain-healthy lifestyle can benefit Alzheimer’s

healthy lifestyle for Alzheimer’sAlzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder and till date there is no cure to treat this disorder. However, research shows that you can still reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s if you maintain healthy lifestyle consist of healthy habits such as eating the right food, exercising, staying mentally and socially active.

Diet

A well-balanced diet is very important part of Alzheimer’s prevention. Studies show that eating a Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. That means you need to eat a lot of vegetables, beans, whole grains, fish and olive oil and limited intake of dairy and meat products. Avoid eating trans fats and saturated fats as these fats cause inflammation and produce free radicals. Eliminate eating red meat, fast food, fried foods and packaged and processed foods from your diet. Evidence suggests that the DHA found in omega3 fatty acids may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. You should include salmon, tuna trout and mackerel in your diet. Regular consumption of green tea is beneficial to improve memory and mental alertness and slows down brain aging.

Exercise
According to the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, regular physical exercise can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50 percent. The ideal way to start an exercise program is to start with cardio and aerobic exercises that get your heart rate up. Head injuries from falls are an increasing risk as you grow older, which in turn increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Thus, your workout schedule should also include balance and coordination exercises that can help you balance your body weight preventing you from falls.

Sleep
Sleep is an important aspect in Alzheimer’s prevention plan. Lack of sleep has a direct impact on your thinking, mood and memory. Therefore, you should not cut back on sleep when you want to accomplish your other tasks. For any normal individual 8 hours of sleep is very important. Establish a regular sleep schedule and make sure that you follow it on your weekends as well.

Mental stimulation
Sleep along with mental stimulation is important to improve your mental sharpness. You should aim to stay mentally active to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Learn something new such as learning a new language, take up a new hobby or explore your creativity. Practice tricks and tips to improve your cognitive skills. Challenge your brain by following the road less traveled. That means taking a new route to home, working with your non-dominant hand, or starting altogether afresh.

Social engagement
Your strong social network can do better with your memory and cognition. Research shows that staying socially engaged can protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in later life. There are more ways to socialize or build up your network. You can volunteer, join a club, connect to others via a social network such as Facebook or meet old buddies. Go out with friends and family to explore new places or bond more.

Alzheimer’s disease – A battle to keep memories alive!

Alzheimer’s diseaseAlzheimer’s disease is a serious brain disorder that greatly impacts daily living through memory loss and cognitive changes. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder. That means it gradually worsen over time, progressing from mild forgetfulness to widespread brain impairment. Due to some chemical and structural changes in the brain slowly impair the ability to create, remember, learn, reason, and relate to others.

There are many factors that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease such as age, family history, genetics, depression, emotional trauma, and alcohol and drug abuse. Just because you forget a thing that does not mean you’ve Alzheimer’s disease. For example, forgetting car keys or wallet can be considered as normal but if you frequently forget recent conversations you just had some time before may be a concern.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder and hence, each individual with this disorder progresses differently. Hence, you need to understand the stages of Alzheimer’s disease to provide your loved one’s timely treatment.

Stage 1 – Mild or early signs of Alzheimer’s disease
Frequent recent memory loss, repeated questions, difficulty expressing and understanding language. Depression and apathy may occur along with mood swings. They may need reminders for daily activities.

Stage 2 – Moderate stage of Alzheimer’s disease
In this stage, they may have pervasive and persistent memory loss including forgetfulness about personal history and inability to recognize friends and family.  They may have long-winded speech, confusion about current events, time and place and are more likely to become lost in familiar settings. They can experience delusions, aggression, and uninhibited behavior. Mobility and coordination are affected by slowness, rigidity, and tremors.

Stage 3 – Severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
They can get confused about past and present. Loss of ability to remember, communicate, or process information. They will have problems with swallowing, incontinence, and illness and extreme problems with mood, behavior, hallucinations and delirium.

Coping with Alzheimer’s disease becomes a long-lasting battle for the person and his or her family members since the disease does not have a permanent cure yet. The earlier the symptoms are recognized, the better you can take care of them. The disease cannot be prevented but with the help of medications, therapies, regular health checkups, and support and love from family and friends can at least improve the quality of his or her life. Other lifestyle changes can also be helpful.

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