Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

teen9Many of us will experience the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s at some point during our lives. Whether a friend, family member or ourselves become a sufferer of the disease, with figures suggesting that around 1 in 3 people will develop the disease at some point during their lives, it is important that we understand and know how we can take steps to prevent it. Although none of the preventative measures are clear-cut, and there is no guarantee, research has shown that there are a number of things that we can all do to significantly reduce the chances of developing the disease as we become older.

One of the first and most important things we can do is to look at our diet and exercise regime. We know that we need to regularly exercise and eat a balanced diet to stay fit and healthy in our every day lives, but research also suggests that through avoiding trans and sat fats, and eating more fruit, vegetables and Omega 3 obtained from fish such as trout, salmon and mackerel, we can substantially decrease our chances of developing dementia.

Maintaining a good social life and mental stimulation is also beneficial and believed to have a major impact on the development and deterioration of the disease. Jan Walker, who runs a series of care homes in Richmond notes;

consulting-doctor“We keep all of our patients as mentally stimulated as possible. Not only does mental activity help to stem the disease, it also slows decline. Whether it’s playing cards with friends or taking an evening class at college, regular social contact is hugely important, as is activity that encourages communication, concentration and organisation. For those who are relatively isolated within society, there are a number of support groups and organisations who run companionship services”

You should try and ensure that your life is also as stress-free as possible. Although, understandably, it is almost impossible to stay stress-free all the time, you should try and channel your energy and make sure that you get some time to yourself to relax. Stress causes shrinkage to the hippocampus which is essential for maintaining memory and cognitive abilities, and also causes sleep deprivation – another factor linked to the disease.

The research surrounding Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia continues to this day, and huge steps have been taken in the field. But with a burgeoning aging population, it seems as though in anticipation of a cure, it seems as though it will begin to become more and more of  a burden. Because of this, it is absolutely essential that as individuals, we begin to look for ways that we can manage and prevent the disease, lessening the problem for future generations.