At present, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease so shouldn’t we all be concentrating on how to prevent it or at least reduce our risk of developing it? Studies have shown that elements of our daily lives play a very important role in Alzheimer’s disease prevention. So what can we change day to day in order to reduce our risk? Here are my Top 10 Tips to help you prevent developing Alzheimer’s disease …
- Eat Lots of Apples
When you eat apples it stimulates the production of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Medicines used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, such as Aricept, do a similar job to apples and stimulate the production of acetylcholine.
- Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and it can also slow the progression of the disease in those who have already been diagnosed. Studies have shown that exercise helps to preserve the part of the brain that is responsible for memory called the hippocampus. Susannah Spencer, a dementia specialist from Country Court Care said ‘What’s good for the heart is good for the head and regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing dementia’.
- Drinking Coffee
Caffeine helps to block the build-up of the brain toxins that cause Alzheimer’s. One study revealed that drinking around 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day helps to reduce the risk of developing the disease by up to 65 percent.
- Quit Smoking
The World Health Organisation reports that individuals who smoke have a 45 percent higher risk of developing dementia compared to those who don’t. They also state that 14% of all dementia cases could have been caused in part by smoking.
- Cut out Sugar
There’s a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. It is thought that diabetics have twice the chance of developing Alzheimer’s than non-diabetics. A doctor at Brown Medical School noted that in people with advanced Alzheimer’s, the insulin levels in their brain were 80% lower than that of a normal functioning brain. This low insulin level means that the brain becomes starved of the energy and sugar that it needs, which ultimately leads to the development of Alzheimer’s.
- Learn New Things
It’s so important to keep your brain active in order to strengthen and stimulate it. Exercising your brain is just as important as exercising your body and can help to slow down illnesses related to memory loss. Learning a new language is said to be the most effective and could postpone the development of Alzheimer’s in an individual by up to 4 years.
- Eat Dark Chocolate
Introduce a little bit of dark chocolate to your diet, making sure that the cocoa content is at least 70% for it to work properly. Dark chocolate can improve blood circulation and lower your blood pressure. This can help to reduce the risk of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Eat Fruits That Contain Fisetin
In 2014, a study carried out on mice found that fisetin had a positive impact and helped to fight the onset of Alzheimer’s, due to fisetin’s anti-inflammatory properties. Fisetin is only found in a small number of foods such as strawberries, mangoes, apples, grapes and peaches for example.
- Be sociable
Engaging in a lot of social activity will delay cognitive decline. Having a large group of friends and great family relations is good for your emotional and physical health. Having a significant other in your life also significantly reduces your risk.
Meditation can help to clear your mind and bring calmness intoto your life. Stress and anxiety has been linked to Alzheimer’s, particularly when individuals are already at risk. A reduction in stress means a reduction in the hormone cortisol which has been linked to the development of dementia. Researchers from Baycrest Health Sciences Rotman Research Institute in Canada discovered that those with a mild cognitive impairment combined with a high level of stress or anxiety had as much as 135% more chance of developing Alzheimer’s.