Can memory loss and dementia be prevented?

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Alzheimer’s disease affects 1 in 10 people above the age of 60. The thought of getting this disease can be frightening. Many have been told that all you can do is hope you don’t have the gene because Alzheimer’s is a genetic disease. However, research shows that by identifying and controlling your personal risk factors you can avoid this disease. Here are the five pillars of Alzheimer’s prevention.

Healthy Diet

When one has Alzheimer’s, inflammation and insulin resistance injure neurons and inhibit communication between brain cells. Some scientists refer to Alzheimer’s as “Diabetes of the brain. By adjusting one’s eating habits, one can reduce inflammation and protect one’s brain. It would be beneficial to:

  • Cut down on sugar
  • Avoid trans fat
  • Get plenty of omega-3 fats 
  • Enjoy daily cups of tea
  • Cook at home often

Mental Stimulation

Those who continue to challenge their brains and learn new things are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or Dementia. To challenge your brain you can:

  • Learn something new
  • Raise the bar for an existing activity
  • Practice Memorization
  • Enjoy puzzles and riddles

Quality Sleep

It is very common for people who suffer from Alzheimer’s to have insomnia or other sleep-related problems. Disrupted sleep is not just a symptom of Alzheimer’s but also a risk factor. Many studies have linked disrupted sleep to higher levels of beta-amyloid, a brain clogging protein that further interferes with sleep.

Stress Management

Chronic stress can take a toll on the brain. It can lead to shrinking key memory areas, hampering nerve cell growth, and increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s. To manage stress levels one can:

  • Schedule daily relaxation activities
  • Nourish inner peace
  • Manage your sense of humor

Social Engagement

Humans are social beings. They don’t thrive in isolation and neither do their brains. Staying socially active and will protect against Alzheimer’s and Dementia later on in life. 

-Sanaa Dalvi

Author at StemTalksNC

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