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Alzheimer’s disease – What is Alzheimer’s Disease & how to avoid it?

What is Alzheimer’s disease & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease? 

What is Alzheimer's Disease & how to avoid it

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that is progressive in nature. It is a brain disorder that causes loss of memory, ability to think, and eventually the ability to perform everyday tasks. It was discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who noticed unusual changes in the brain tissue of a woman who passed away.

The human brain has 100 million neurons. These neurons connect with other neurons to form a network that enables communication. The nerve cells have to perform different functions like learning, thinking, remembering, seeing, and hearing. What happens in Alzheimer’s is that it prevents the brain from performing these functions. When one area is affected it also affects other areas. We will cover about Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms and how to avoid it. Just read the article till the end.

Alzheimer’s if of two kinds:What is Alzheimer's Disease

Healthcare workers all over the world are yet to fully understand this disease and its causes. The most likely causes are:
– Age-related changes that occur in the brain.
– Genetic and lifestyle factors.

However, two structures may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
1. Plagues: deposits of a protein called beta-amyloid are known as plagues. These deposits occur in the space between the brain cells.

2. Tangles: the twisted fibers of another protein known as tau. They are present inside the cells.

Though most people develop plaques and tangles in their brains, it is found that people who suffer from Alzheimer’s develop these in a far larger number. They also develop in a very unusual pattern. They usually begin at the important places of memory in the brain and gradually spread throughout the brain.

Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms

Some common Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms are:
– Loss of memory.
– Hampered judgment.
– Loss of initiative.
– Repetitive questions.
– Mood swings and personality changes.
– Confusion.
– Difficulty with language.
– Low attention span.
– Hallucinations and paranoia.
– Failure to recognize friends and family.
– Seizers.
– Weight loss.

 

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Keeping your memory sharp and preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

Though there is no cure yet once you develop Alzheimer’s. However, some habits and life-style changes help you keep your memory sharp and avoid Alzheimer’s.

prevent alzheimer's disease

1. Exercise:

Exercising for 30 minutes for 3-4 days a week can keep various diseases at bay and help manage the risks and symptoms of some diseases like Alzheimer’s. According to research, lack of physical activity is the most common preventable risk associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. It reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 28% and 45%, respectively. The study involved two groups, one where the participants engaged in physical exercise and one where people did not engage in any exercise. Researchers found that the exercise group showed improvement in attention and processing information. A study conducted over 14 years showed that when AD patients engaged in exercise, they performed better in neuropsychological tests.

2. Diet to boost your brain:

The doctors recommend turning towards nutrition to manage or reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. A diet with ample vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats provides many health benefits to the brain, along with boosting your memory. The food you consume has effects on the aging of the brain. There are different diets that one can follow. Still, one diet that stands out is the Mediterranean Diet, emphasizing legumes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, unsaturated fats, and a little amount of red meat and eggs. These foods help reduce oxidative stress, blood pressure, and even enhance your minds cognitive functions. Research has shown that following a version of this diet called the MIND, or Mediterranean-DASH intervention of neurodegenerative Delay incorporates DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension). DASH reduces the risk factors of Alzheimer’s like high blood pressure. Research has shown that it also delays and, in some cases, slows down the decline of cognitive functions.

3. Keep challenging your brain:

challenging your brain helps you to retain the information that you already have. It also helps in acquiring new information. You can join certain classes to enhance your skills, like painting, drawing, learning new languages, etc. Learning a new language is one of the best ways of challenging your brain. Enroll yourself in a course or take some online classes. Some games and activities can be great stimulators for the brain. An example would be jigsaw puzzles. Using your non-dominant hand for performing everyday tasks is another option.

Challenging your brain leads to neurogenesis, the process of generating new brain cells. This process occurs throughout the life span of an individual. The research also shows that performing challenging activities or learning new skills leads to enhanced mental functions.

4. Organize:

another easy way to keep your memory sharp is to be well organized. Make a to-do list, designate a place to keep your important everyday items like your keys, medication, and your organizer. Make sure to go through the list a few times, particularly at breakfast and dinner, every day to accomplish your tasks. This way, you don’t have to worry about forgetting important things and work.

5. Repeat and retain info:

It is a common practice, especially amongst students, to repeat any new information to retain that info. Repeat new information out loud or write it down. This is one way of reinforcing the memory and its connection. The more you repeat the information, the greater the retention. A person is introduced to repeating information at a very young age. They are told to write their ABCDs and other texts so that they retain it.

6. Make mnemonics:

Mnemonics are a device or technique used to retain or retrieve information from human memory. There are various forms of mnemonics that you can make, for example, acronyms, music expression, or sentence and image mnemonics. The most common example of mnemonic would be VIBGYOR (for the color of a rainbow). This way, when every time you think of the colors of the rainbow, you can easily name each color. You can also create a mnemonic image.

 

7. Get good sleep:

Sleep deprivation can cause several medical issues like depression and anxiety, increased blood pressure, and heart disease. Sleep deprivation has also been associated with Alzheimer’s. Sleep is important in getting rid of beta-amyloid, a protein present in the brain, which is a possible factor that leads to Alzheimer’s in the first place. With age as the brain starts to age, sleep quality is also affected, which also impairs memory. A good night’s sleep helps retain information that you receive through the day, while lack of sleep does the opposite. Therefore, getting quality sleep helps your retain info better. According to a study involving two groups. One that slept for 8 hours and those who did not sleep well. The group that slept for 8 hours had better retention of memory compared to the other group. So, if you are keen to keep your memory sharp, ensure that you get good sleep.

8. Socialize:

Being social plays an important part in maintaining the memories of people. If you are not social and often find yourself in isolation from people, it will cause major stress, which in turn increases the risk of neurological diseases. Reports suggest that having strong social connections can help reduce cognitive degeneration. Keeping good social terms with your friends and family will help keep your memory sharp and intact. It also prevents loneliness and depression. According to research, women who maintained a large social circle were 26% less susceptible to dementia. So, stay in touch with your loved ones often. You can do this by joining some groups like a book club or yoga with your friends.

TAKEAWAY

Memory is a skill as important as any other skill we possess. It helps us performing everyday tasks and living a hassle-free life. However, there is no definite cure for Alzheimer’s, you can make sure to follow the above practices to keep your memory sharp for as long as possible.

What one must keep in mind is that it will take time and practice to get the desired result. So, start small but start as soon as possible. You don’t have to wait for a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders to use these methods to enhance your memory. You can practice it simply to improve your quality of life and live with ease and dignity.<

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