What Do We Know About Alzheimer’s Disease?
Oleksii (Alex) Gorobet, RMT - Registered Massage Therapist
Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist, first described the symptoms of progressive cognitive declining in people age 60+ as “presenile dementia,” which was later named by his name, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
There are approximately 50 million people with AD globally. The global annual financial burden of it is estimated as $1 trillion US funds. There are no medications or supplements that have been shown to decrease risk. No treatments stop or reverse its progression, though some may temporarily improve symptoms.
The Landmark Study, released in September 2022, shows that dementia will continue to be a growing issue in Canada. For one, this study projects that the number of people living with some form of dementia in Canada will triple over the next 30 years. However, if we act now, we can change that forecast for the better.
There is profound clinical data proving that the risk of cognitive declining can be reduced. The prevention strategy is simple and can be used by everyone who “loves their brain” and is ready to adopt key lifestyle habits.
Follow the guide below, that can also be found online at: https://www.alz.org/help-support/brain_health/10_ways_to_love_your_brain
10 Ways to Love Your Brain
Break a sweat Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body. Several studies have found an association between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive decline.
Hit the books Formal education in any stage of life will help reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. For example, take a class at a local college, community center or online.
Butt out Evidence shows that smoking increases risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking can reduce that risk to levels comparable to those who have not smoked.
Follow your heart Evidence shows that risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke — obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes — negatively impact your cognitive health. Take care of your heart, and your brain just might follow.
Heads up! Brain injury can raise your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt, use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike, and take steps to prevent falls.
Fuel up right Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Although research on diet and cognitive function is limited, certain diets, including Mediterranean and Mediterranean-DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), may contribute to risk reduction.
Catch some Zzz's Not getting enough sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems with memory and thinking.
Take care of your mental health Some studies link a history of depression with increased risk of cognitive decline, so seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. Also, try to manage stress.
Buddy up Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Pursue social activities that are meaningful to you. Find ways to be part of your local community — if you love animals, consider volunteering at a local shelter. If you enjoy singing, join a local choir or help at an after-school program. Or, just share activities with friends and family.
Stump yourself Challenge and activate your mind. Build a piece of furniture. Complete a jigsaw puzzle. Do something artistic. Play games, such as bridge, that make you think strategically. Challenging your mind may have short and long-term benefits for your brain.
When possible, combine these habits to achieve maximum benefit for the brain and body. Start now. It’s never too late or too early to incorporate healthy habits.