‘Why did Grandma put her underwear in the Refrigerator?’- Thus goes the title of a children’s book on Alzheimer’s. An arresting title, of course, on one of the dreaded diseases, which baffles most of us. The sight of once intelligent men and women losing touch with reality and failing even to recognize the near and dear ones and needing assistance to even bathe and dress is sure to bring tears.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) report of 2014 stated that a new person with dementia is reported every 4 seconds in the world. Seems shocking? By 2050, WHO estimates that the world will have 115 million people with dementia. Since Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, we can very well assume that majority of these dementia victims will be those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Is it just memory loss?
Way back, it was thought that Alzheimer’s disease or any other dementia was a normal part of ageing. However, research has proved to the contrary, even though Alzheimer’s disease is mostly seen in the aged. Neurologists say that this progressive neurodegenerative disease (slowly destroys the brain cells) has its beginnings in your 30s. How we live in our youth can determine to a big extent whether we will have Alzheimer’s in our later stages.
Arrest Alzheimer’s before it overwhelms you
The power to a life free of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is in your own hands. All that it needs is a few lifestyle changes and giving up of habits, which affect your physical health. Neurologists offer the following tips for the young to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease:
Love your heart
Researchers have found out a strong connection between the health of your heart and that of the brain. The better the state of the heart is, the more efficient the functioning of the brain will be. This is because the brain requires a healthy heart to provide blood supply for the efficient functioning of brain cells.
Take care of all the factors which affect your heart like your body weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. Keep them in check by maintaining an active lifestyle and consuming nutritious food. If you are above 40, have regular medical checkups to ascertain your cardiovascular health. In case, you are obese or have heart ailments, hypertension or high blood cholesterol levels, do not miss out on regular medication.
Kick it out
WHO says that smokers have a 45% higher probability of developing dementia than non-smokers. Further, WHO also estimates that 14% of Alzheimer’s disease can be attributed to smoking.
If you are a smoker, it is high time that you start abstaining from it. For many, kicking off the smoking habit is a tough thing to do. If so, do not hesitate to take professional help. Finally, your heart and brain matter.
It isn’t glamorous
Pubs and bars abound every street of our cities. The habit of consuming alcohol is no more concealed by anyone. But neurologists say that drinkers are bound to be in trouble. A US research suggested that even moderate amounts of alcohol increased the risk of dementia.
For most of us, a drink a day is a means to unwind, relax and celebrate. It is time we find out healthier ways to rejoice and relax. May be, a long talk with your parents or playing with kids or a game of soccer.
Don’t sweat it
The more depressed we are, the higher is our chance of getting Alzheimer’s. A U.S. study found out that people who have depression in their middle age were 20% more likely to have dementia.
Develop endurance to the highs and lows of life. Incorporate regular exercises and meditation sessions in your daily routine to ward off depression and stress. In case, you or your near ones show or develop signs of depression, get treated at the earliest.
Let’s remember that no medication has been found out to cure Alzheimer’s, though some medicines can delay the onset of symptoms. By taking care of our heart and incorporating lifestyle changes, we can very well lead a life devoid of memory crippling dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Find a trusted and experienced Neurologist nearest to you on Lybrate, to know more about the symptoms and causes of Alzheimer’s and tips to prevent them: https://www.lybrate.com/neurologist