Over a decade and a billion dollars have been spent to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, yet the cure seems to be as elusive as ever. To date, there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s nor any way to stop or slow its progression once it has taken hold of the cells in the brain. There are, however, various drug and non-drug options that help patients with mild to severe cases of Alzheimer’s, options that are more to allow one to still have control over simple day to day tasks with minimal assistance.
For those who have one or more family members with Alzheimer’s disease, the pain and suffering are known all too well. We don’t often notice how it starts, as the early symptoms can be likened to an ordinary slip of the mind. A few years in, the symptoms get serious and become a cause for worry. The diagnosis confirms that the disease has taken root, so all that anyone can do is to watch it develop and try to make things as easy as possible for the patient.
Throughout all this, one question comes to mind – “Am I going to develop the same genetic disease?”
Family history is not necessary for an individual to develop Alzheimer’s as the disease can still develop due to multiple lifestyle factors. However, those who have a parent, a sibling, or multiple family ties with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease than those who do not have a first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, there are five habits that can decrease risk of Alzheimer’s , even for those with genetic risk. Five Habits That Can Decrease Chances Of Alzheimer’s
1. Cardio, 3 Days A Week
Regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia by about 30%. For Alzheimer’s disease specifically, the risk was reduced by 45%. Aerobic exercise, in particular, has been shown to affect the brains of healthy older adults.
The hippocampus – the key brain area that is involved in memory – increased in size, meaning that the growth and maturation of new neurons are spurred when there is an increase in blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Walking, hiking, biking, swimming, or simply exercising on a stair-climber does the trick, as long as the body regularly indulges in the activity and turns it into a habit. 2. Daily Cognitive Challenges
As we age, cognitive decline starts to show. Slower inductive reasoning, slower problem solving, and declines in perpetual speed are just some of the signs of cognitive decline. These are also symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, but it is impossible to confirm the disease unless extensive tests are done.
Those who continue to engage in mental exercises enjoy strong neuropsychological performance throughout their senior years. Doing the Sunday crossword, playing chess, or solving a Sudoku puzzle keeps the mind up and running without any negative stress. Take cognitive enhancers to help the brain stay active and focused throughout the day, like brain supplements from Neurohacker which contain the nutrients that the brain needs to thrive. 3. Read A Book (Read It Aloud)
Reading a book aloud is known to improve information processing skills, vocabulary, and comprehension. It delays the onset of Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia because brain functioning improves through an enhanced memory and understanding of what is being read. It’s like feeding your brain information with more depth because you are reading the information to yourself, like explaining the information or the details to your own brain and piecing it together in a way that best relays the message to your brain cells – by speaking and listening. 4. Commit To A Hobby
A study found that those who took part in artistic hobbies such as painting, drawing, and sculpting, were 73% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than those who didn’t. Meanwhile, those who engage in woodworking, pottery, ceramics, and sewing reduced the risk by 45%.
Sticking to a hobby not only increases happiness and keeps older adults happy as they age, but it also trains the mind to memorize the steps and the corresponding kinetic movements that come with it. Whether it’s a stroke of the hand or the exact hand pressure to shape a pot, hobbies help the brain to stay healthy and connected to other physical functions. 5. Take Breaks From Work
Elevated stress is known to aggravate the development of Alzheimer’s disease, causing more rapid development of pathology and loss in cognitive function. In fact, researchers found that every stressful event is equal to 1.5 years of brain aging, except for African-Americans where every stressful event is equal to 4 years of brain aging.
It’s impossible to say when stress is going to come knocking. However, especially at work, it is important to give yourself a breather. Keeping busy is healthy as it exercises the brain, but it would be much healthier in the long run to have a scheduled rest not just at night but also during the day. Take small breaks in between heavy work, do nothing but relax. Go easy every now and then. Chances Of Aggravating Alzheimer’s Genetic Risk Factors
Other lifestyle factors are to be considered when there are genetic risks of Alzheimer’s disease involved. Maintaining the five habits above, coupled with staying healthy in heart and mind, is the surest way to stave off the incurable brain disease. Reduce consumption of red meat, quit heavy drinking and heavy smoking, follow a regular sleeping schedule, and do your best to take care of your holistic health.
Take cognitive enhancers, particularly one that is rich in nootropics and complete vitamins to nourish the brain. The best cognitive enhancer ensures that your brain stays focused and energized all day so that you can maximize the times that you engage in cognitive exercises.
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