Alzheimer’s probably emerges from a tapestry of interconnected factors. Age and genetics set the stage, but the spotlight falls on lifestyle choices, environmental influences, and underlying health conditions.
The quest to understand and mitigate Alzheimer’s risk is a journey marked by a discovery that promises early detection and intervention.
Let’s unlock the mysteries of Alzheimer’s risk factors to foster hope for a future where prevention takes center stage.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Its Impact
Alzheimer’s disease is a common type of dementia that begins with mild memory loss and severely affects a person’s ability to accomplish daily activities.
Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
- No Impairment: All the Memory and cognitive abilities are normal in this phase.
- Normal Forgetfulness: The friends and relatives recognize changes in the thinking patterns of an individual.
- Mild Cognitive Impairment: An individual starts forgetting recent learning, misplaces objects, and finds difficulty retrieving words.
- Mild Alzheimer’s Disease: In this phase, an individual starts withdrawing from social situations.
- Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease: The person can no longer manage independently and require the caregiver’s assistance.
- Moderately Severe Alzheimer’s Disease: Hallucinations often show up in this stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Severe Dementia and Failure to Thrive: Complete support is needed around the clock.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
- Forgetting important dates or events
- Asking the same questions over and over
- Facing challenges while facing problems
- Trouble naming a familiar object
- Misplacing things
Lifestyle Choices and Alzheimer’s Risk
- Obesity: Obesity is the risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease that induces leptin and insulin resistance. Leptin decreases insulin release and enhances tissue sensitivity, which leads to glucose uptake for energy utilization or storage. Obesity increases the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Depression: Depression is a risk factor that leads to cognitive decline. In most cases, depression is the reaction to early cognitive deficits. The person faces difficulties with memory, concentration, and decision-making, which are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Carotid Artery Narrowing: Carotid Artery Disease is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals with Carotid artery disease have reduced blood flow to the brain. It is a contributing factor to cognitive impairment and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- High & Low blood pressure: High blood pressure damages small blood vessels in the brain. It affects the brain parts responsible for thinking and memory. Uncontrolled blood pressure increases the Alzheimer’s risk.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Too much blood sugar damages organs, including the brain. Type 2 diabetics have increased levels of beta-amyloid protein, one of the hallmark brain proteins of Alzheimer’s disease.
Tips for Reducing Alzheimer’s Risk
Here are a few tips to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Regular Exercise: Engaging in moderate-intensity regular exercise reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Exercising regularly stimulates the brain’s ability to maintain cognitive skills.
- Social Engagement: Staying socially engaged keeps the brain active and engaged, contributing to cognitive vitality. Regular interactions with friends, family, and communities stimulate your mind and support emotional health.
- Healthy Diet: Insulin resistance hinders communication between brain cells. It leads to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. So, introducing a healthy diet and cutting down on sugary foods and refined carbs reduces the risk of decline from cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Mental Stimulation: Practice memorization techniques, play games, or engage in activities that challenge your brain. It is a great mental workout that retains cognitive associations and creates new brain pathways.
- Vascular Health: Heart issues increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Keep your blood pressure in control and address the vascular health issues to improve your heart health.
- Quality Sleep: Inadequate sleep increases the levels of beta-amyloid in the brain. It slows down thinking patterns and affects moods, leading to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. So, establish a regular sleep schedule of at least 7-8 hours to restore and relax your brain.
- Stress Management: Stress takes a toll on the brain’s health and hampers nerve cell growth. It increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. So, it is recommended to keep stress under control to protect your brain and minimize the harmful effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease
There is no medical test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, but health professionals look for the symptoms, memory problems, and cognitive deficits to diagnose the condition.
As the years pass, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the biggest concerns. However, taking charge of cognitive health reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. Proactive choices and lifestyle changes can slow down or stave off the onset of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and preserve your cognitive abilities for longer.