There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease but medical science knows a great deal about reducing, delaying, or even preventing the symptoms. The key is to keep your brain healthy and there are a number of proven techniques that can help you do this. I don’t want to make any promises, but some researchers think that with a focus on a healthy brain it might be possible to reverse the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s. Let’s take a look at how we can all have a healthy brain.
Before jumping into a change in lifestyle I suggest you talk with your doctor about the information below. It is always a wise decision to create a plan that is reasonable and not overly ambitious. And once your plan has been created you want to continue to follow it throughout the remainder of your life. Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease and since there is no cure you should strive to prevent the onset of symptoms.
1) Brush your Teeth 3X per day – One of the most interesting Alzheimer’s studies to appear recently found that a large percentage of patients with the disease had signs of gum-disease bacteria in their brains while none of the people without Alzheimer’s or dementia. This suggests that periodontal (gum) disease may play a role in Alzheimer’s. So brush your teeth 3 times per day and floss at least once and at the very least you will have clean teeth.
2) Drop the Bad Habits – Stop Smoking – NOW! Alcohol consumption should be minimal or nothing. This means for the rest of your life.
3) Exercise – This should be no surprise to anyone. Exercise delivers many benefits to the individual and a regular exercise program has statistically shown that it reduces your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 50%. Wow! Now who wants a 50% reduction in risk plus the other benefits of exercise? Remember, exercise improves memory, increases your energy and reduces your stress level.
4) Diet – You should know this one too – an obvious requirement for a healthy brain. Discuss your diet with your doctor and/or nutritionist and develop a plan for a healthy diet and a healthy brain. Today the emphasis is on fruits and vegetables and Mediterranean diets.
5) Restful Sleep – Most adults need 8 hours of sleep per night and if they have less then their ability to think and be creative is impaired.
6) Mental Exercise – Yes, your brain needs exercise too, it is called stimulation. Take classes and learn something new such as Chinese cooking or a new language. Read a good book. Play games of strategy such as Bridge or Scrabble. Make yourself think, memorize, and organize – this is mental exercise and you should do it as often as possible. Research has clearly shown that those who are mentally active are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s.
7) Reduce Stress and Maintain an Active Social Live – Find opportunities to participate in your community. You can volunteer for many groups or take classes at learning centers or community colleges. You are never too old to learn something new about the world. Visit museums and participate in their events. Stay active and find time to relax.