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Top 5 ways to fight Alzheimer’s disease

Updated on December 13, 2010

About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing concern among the elderly in America. But just what is Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects memory, thought and behavior. After age sixty-five the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease steadily increases. It is incurable and there is currently no way to stop the progression of the disease. The most recognizable symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is increasing memory loss. This symptom is often hard to distinguish from normal memory loss due to aging, however, at a point the loss is so pronounced that the people who have Alzheimer’s disease will forget where they live, the names and faces of loved ones around them, and even themselves.  The only reliefs offered to Alzheimer’s patients are medications that help lesion the symptoms of agitation, sleepiness and depression that accompany these patients.

1 Intellectual exercise

While there is no sure way to avoid Alzhimers entirely, some studies indicate that brain intensive activities such as reading and math keep the brain functioning at healthy levels. This type of activity is thought to lessen the likelihood of contracting Alzhimers in the later years of life and is the most well know way of fighting Alzheimer’s disease. There is a connection between people who use their brains proactively for intellectual purposes and their healthy brains. People who seek out activities that need extra communication skills, memorization or puzzle solving are simply less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Not only that but such exercises help people of all ages retain information better and longer than those with more sedentary brain activities. Games such as Sudoku, Scrabble, and Brain Age are good ways to fit fun brain building into a busy life. Brain Age is a specially designed game made for boosting brain power, and is for the hand held gaming consol The Nintendo DS. This game’s goal is to decrease your brain “age” by using math, reading, counting and memory games to stimulate different parts of the brain. By having short challenges aimed at different areas of the brain the game tracks the player’s progress and keeps a record of high score.  With game features like voice recognition and a touch screen, the game can feel really interactive. A graft is used to show a player’s progress and tests track the brain age of the player. The lower the brain age the healthier the brain.

Keeping Alzheimer’s disease at bay doesn’t have to be dull or even hard work. The internet is full of enough memory games to keep a person’s brain active for a lifetime and even toy companies are jumping on the healthy brain wagon and creating games just for our mental health. For the elderly who have a hard time with technology, even just reading often can help keep Alzheimer’s disease away.

2 Exercise

Exercise is one of the more proven ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It is generally thought that the real benefit of exercise is the increased blood flow to the brain. This brings more oxygen to the brain allowing it to function better. Exercise also increases the ability of blood to hold oxygen. People who are obese are around three times more likely to get Alzheimer’s hen their more active counterparts. Exercise is also a key part of the prevention of many other health problems that are risk factors in developing Alzheimers.

3 Reduce Heart Problems

Because of this link between good brain health and rich, oxygenated blood there is a serious connection between Alzheimer’s disease and heart related problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol. Quitting smoking is a surefire way to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and these other diseases. Exercise and diet are often enough to totally cure these problems as well.

4 Diet

3  People have a much higher risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease if they also have diet related health problems. Diabetes is a major factor because of the affect of changing insulin levels on the brain. Controlling your diet by eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables and avoiding transfats is a good way to reduce this risk factor.

5 Sleep and Reduce Stress

3    Lack of sleep deprives the brain of time needed to store and sort through the events of your life. Losing sleep makes you tired and cranky, but can also have more lasting effects on your memory. Too much stress can age your brain and body early by interfering with cell growth. Both problems can be interlinked, and so can be fought with some of the same techniques. Having a set schedule for relaxation and a bedtime can take away some of the question of when to fit relaxation and sleep into your life. Meditation is a known stress reducer and can also help you get to the relaxed state needed for deep sleep.

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