Recent years have brought us more research in terms of how to prevent or reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, and the latest study presents a clear theme: protect your brain by making necessary lifestyle changes.
Several experimental drugs are currently either in the research phase or even in clinical trials, but scientists predict years will pass until any of them receives FDA approval and reaches the shelves. Until then, the aging population is constantly being exposed to the dangers that dementia and Alzheimer’s in particular present.
But new research suggests you don’t have to wait for any drug to hit the market, as there are some generally healthy everyday steps you can take in order to lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. These spread on a wide variety, from keeping a regular sleep schedule and developing stress coping mechanisms to committing to reading more than you did before.
According to Dr. Richard Lipton of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, changing some of your daily habits and making your lifestyle healthier through some easy steps shows a lot more promise than any drug experiments so far.
The tips against memory loss are based on years of research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. It turns out that sleep apnea and any other form of poor sleep is linked to developing mild cognitive impairment, one of the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
The advice offered by Dr. Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco is to talk to your physician if you’re dealing with sleep problems – many are easily treated and will lower that risk of developing dementia later on.
At the same time, you don’t have to wait until you reach senior age to start doing more crossword puzzles, or take piano lessons or learn German – keeping the brain engaged should be a top priority for people of all ages, as it offers a strong protection against memory loss.
It doesn’t take rocket science to realize that what’s good for the heart is also good for the brain, and that’s why physicians encourage patients to pay attention to how fit they are.
Besides changing your sedentary habits – too much TV watching or video game playing – researchers touted the benefits of being physically active throughout life. Not only does a good workout improve your heart, but it can also be a good stress-relief activity.
One of the highest risk factors for Alzheimer’s is late-life depression, which can be caused in turn by stress – an ingredient that’s become a big part of our day-to-day lives. Having poor coping skills when it comes to stress has a negative effect on brain cells, leading to mild cognitive impairment.
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