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Alzheimer’s is an irreversible disorder of the human brain which gradually destroys memory, thinking ability, common reasoning skills or the ability to perform day to day simple tasks. This disease is named after Dr. Alo who first detected Alzheimer’s in 1906. He extensively researched the brain of a woman who died of an unusual mental illness. It is estimated that nearly 5 million American citizens suffer from it making it the sixth leading cause of death in the US. Although it mainly afflicts older people, mostly over age 60, it has however been identified to have two different onsets. The younger onset is seen in people aged 40-60, even in the 30s in the worst cases. To take care of an Alzheimer’s patient we should know the symptoms and factors of it first.

Risk Factors

Two types of genes have been detected by scientists as precursors to the onset of the disease. They are known as risk genes and deterministic genes.The substance APOE-e4 of risk genes is responsible for nearly one-fourth of the cases of Alzheimer’s along with younger onset. The Deterministic genes are very rare, resulting in only 1 percent of cases observed in just around a hundred families worldwide. In these cases, the onset of Alzheimer’s is basically inevitable. Lifestyle is also an important factor. Accumulation of plaque and tangles in the brain especially in the hippocampus section is a known cause of dementia.

Prevention and Delay

  1. There is a strong relationship between severe head injury and future development of Alzheimer’s. If the patient is suffering from a series of traumas, extra care should be taken. Using a seat belt is advisable and the floor in one’s home should be fall-proof. Additionally, a helmet should be worn when engaging in outdoor or high contact sports.
  2. The main cause of this disease is thought to be family history which increases proportionally to the number of affected family members. So, when a patient is experiencing short-term memory loss or related symptoms a thorough check-up is recommended.
  3. Your heart plays an important role in the nourishment of your brain. The human brain is fed by oxygen-rich blood by a complex network of vessels and the heart needs to pump at least 20 percent of the blood. Factors causing heart disease such as hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol help plaques and tangles to accumulate. Tangles are strands of protein and tissues disabling the normal activities of the brain. In order to minimize the plaque build-up, people should avoid oily food with unsaturated fats and limit alcohol consumption as it stimulates the decaying process.
  4. General healthy aging is necessary to keep one away from this debilitating disease. A diet rich in fiber and antioxidants such as seasonal fruits, green vegetables should be consumed as a meal and of course, tobacco and alcohol should be avoided.
  5. Exercise has no substitute as it works extensively to increase the blood and oxygen flow in the brain cells. Exercise helps to keep your heart healthy affecting brain health indirectly.
  6. A healthy diet is much-needed and Mediterranean cuisine is the best as it is free from red meat and Trans fat. It is full of fish, seafood, olive oil, nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Enabling you to get your fiber antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals as needed in your diet.
  7. Active social connections and intellectual activities help a lot, and researchers have proven the fact although the exact reason behind this is still unknown. It is suspected that the portion of the brain gets stimulated by these activities is normally affected by the disease.

Moreover, encouragement helps. If you have healthy relationships with your family and friends, you will have the inspiration and energy to combat this disease and lead your life as normally as possible.

Need help in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, contact Ryan’s Caring Hands.