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Alzheimer’s and the Importance of Brain Health

There are 50 million people worldwide who are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia conditions every day. Every 65 seconds there is someone in the United States that develops Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, it is a progressive disease that affects memory and cognitive abilities. With how widespread and prevalent this condition is it is crucial to understand and recognize this disease to be properly informed.

What is it?

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain condition that causes issues with memory and cognitive abilities. In the early stages, memory loss is mild, but as it progresses this disease can begin to affect the person’s ability to carry out daily tasks. It can become difficult for people to swallow, carry on a conversation, and even walking may become a struggle. These symptoms occur because neurons or nerve cells in the brain are damaged or destroyed, which causes deterioration. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition but there are treatments and courses of action that can help mitigate some progression and allow people affected by this condition to maintain their independence for longer.

brain of Alzheimer's patient

 

Symptoms:

There are many tell-tale signs to watch out for in loved ones that may signify the development of Alzheimer’s. The major sign of this condition is impaired memory. They may forget about recent events or conversations and have difficulty organizing their thoughts. These symptoms may lead to them asking the same question multiple times, getting lost in familiar locations, forgetting the name of family members or everyday objects, and misplacing possessions more frequently. Alzheimer’s can also affect thinking and reasoning, making decisions, and performing familiar tasks. These changes in the brain that occur because of Alzheimer’s can also bring in other issues that affect their personalities such as depression, social withdrawal, irritability, and distrust in others.

Causes:

It is understood that Alzheimer’s is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors that affect the brain over time. The damage to the brain typically starts in the part of the brain that controls memory and then moves throughout the brain causing degeneration and shrinking over time. It is understood that those with a sibling or parent affected by Alzheimer’s are at a slightly higher risk for developing this condition themselves. Additionally, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases with age. Other factors that are believed to have some impact on developing Alzheimer’s include having previous head trauma, increased levels of air pollution, excessive alcohol consumption, poor sleep, and lack of physical activity have all been linked to an increase in the likelihood of developing this condition.

Brain Health:

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s there are things you can incorporate into your life to help protect your mind and boost your brain health. Your lifestyle and daily habits have a large impact on your brain health and knowing how to prioritize your brain health can aid in living a healthy lifestyle and can boost your overall well-being.

Physical activity is crucial for your brain, it helps improve blood flow, aids with memory stimulates the brain to enhance learning, and improves your mood.

Nutrition is crucial to prioritize throughout the aging experience. Picking nutrient-dense foods can help you ward off the effects of oxidation on the brain and protects your brain cells, as well as gives you the energy you need to function properly daily.

Medical Health is crucial to maintain and monitor properly. It is important to stay on track with regular doctor visits, following recommendations, and taking your prescriptions accordingly. Staying on top of your medical health can help prevent conditions such as diabetes and hypertension from popping up.

Sleep is vital to your overall health and wellness. Sleep gives your body and brain time to relax, recharge, energize you, improve your immune system, and fight off plaque build-up associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Mental Exercises are an important thing to incorporate into your daily routine. Just like any muscle, it is important to work your mind to keep it healthy and active. Furthermore, using your mind allows new pathways and brain cells to be created.

Staying Social helps boost your mental health, protect your memory, keep you engaged and protect your mind.

 

 

Dementia conditions such as Alzheimer’s are not a normal part of aging but are unfortunately quite common. This makes it important to understand the symptoms, risk factors, and how to prioritize your brain health. Following these recommendations to boost your brain health can help improve your overall well-being and health as well as decrease your risks for developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. If you are concerned about a loved one or you see warning signs for Alzheimer’s it is important to speak with a professional to help evaluate the issues and get a diagnosis.

 

For more information on Alzheimer’s and brain health check out these resources:

6 Pillars of Brain Health

Alzheimer’s Disease

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Dementia and Alzheimer’s: What are the Differences?

Healthy Hive

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