Prevent Alzheimer’s disease – 9 neurologists Tips
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is characterized by memory impairment, speech disorders, and functional limitations in simple daily activities.
The disease is due to the accumulation of harmful proteins
in the brain and begins to develop many years before symptoms occur. Since there is no cure for the disease, one can easily realize that the importance of prevention is enormous.
Some of the measures that experts recommend and that are proven to provide protection against Alzheimer’s are the following:
1. Enjoy enough sleep
Sleep helps to “cleanse” the brain of proteins that contribute to Alzheimer’s, according to a recent study in the review Brain.
“We must not ignore the importance of sleep,”
says Dr. Gayatri Devi, professor of neurology and neurologist at a New York hospital. “Personally, I prioritize sleep and consider it one of my most important activities,” he adds. Traditionally, experts recommend adults 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
2. Say “yes” to social events
Social people who maintain a wide circle of friends and acquaintances are more protected from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. A study by researchers at Harvard University, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry JAMA Psychiatry, has shown that loneliness is a possible risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
“There is an inherent value in social inclusion,”
comments Dr. David Knopman, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in the United States and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “People who are more socially active are more optimistic and generally have a more positive attitude towards life,” he adds.
3. Love learning
The level of education but also activities such as reading and learning foreign languages create a “mental reserve” that helps the brain to “resist” the neurological damage caused by Alzheimer’s.
“The effect of education on the brain is very strong,”
says Dr. Knopman.
4. Make your own things
Crafts, knitting, repairs, and home remedies are some of the ways to keep your brain active and help it constantly learn new things. Other activities that “sharpen” the mind are cooking, creative writing, and gardening, according to a report by the World Brain Health Council (GCBH).
“If there is a problem at home, for example, with the phone or the plumbing, I try to fix it myself,”
says Dr. Devi. “It’s good for my brain to look for solutions to such problems.”
5. Stay physically active
Regular physical exercise is essential for good brain health.
According to research data, people who exercise are up to 45% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
The effect of exercise on the brain is both direct and indirect. “When you are physically active you burn more calories and thus are less likely to become obese and enjoy better cardiovascular health,” explains Dr. Knopman. Obesity and poor cardiovascular health are key contributors to Alzheimer’s.
6. Put in your life turmeric
Curcumin, the active ingredient contained in the spice, acts against inflammation in the brain and helps to maintain the proper functioning of nerve cells. Although research into the exact effects of curcumin is still early, Dr. Devi says the findings are promising.
7. Deal with stress
Chronic stress contributes to the manifestation and development of Alzheimer’s. Stress triggers the release of a hormone called cortisol, which is linked to memory impairment. “Treating stress ensures lower levels cortisol and at the same time improves the utilization of sugars, which are essential ‘fuel’ for the brain,” says Dr. Devi.
8. Try the MIND diet
This is a combination of the classic Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet and is specially designed to prevent dementia. It is based on whole grains, vegetables, nuts, lean meats, and fish. As reported by Dr. Knopman always recommends to his patients a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which ensures a balance in the consumption of foods from different food groups.