While very little is known about the causes and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a number of factors have been shown through a variety of observational studies to aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s, or simply if you are aging, you may consider including some of the following risk reducers in your lifestyle.
This is probably the best known measure for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. A very famous health study conducted on nuns showed that those who engaged regularly in intellectual pursuits were less likely to contract Alzheimer’s, particularly early Alzheimer’s. Later studies have shown that while intellectual stimulation doesn’t necessarily aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, it does in fact delay the onset and the progression of symptoms.
Some simple intellectual pursuits you could engage in regularly are reading challenging books, doing crossword puzzles as well as playing mentally stimulating games like chess and Scrabble.
More recent studies have shown that, in addition to mental activity, physical activity assists in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Some suggest that this is due to the increased blood flow, heart, and lung capacity. No matter the reason it works, it is worth giving this measure a try, since its health benefits extend far beyond the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Activity does not need to be extremely strenuous or intensive; it is most important that it be regular and consistent. A daily walk, swim, or game of golf will help to ward off a great variety of health concerns, including Alzheimer’s.
One of the more interesting findings of late is the significance of social interaction in our physical and mental health. Several studies have shown that maintaining a social network aids in the prevention and treatment of many diseases common among older people, and now it is shown to help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Since early Alzheimer’s can often include symptoms such as anxiety and depression, maintaining contact with friends can also help to relieve some of these symptoms and increase quality of life.
Still being studied is the effect of diet and nutritional supplementation in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Promising work has shown the helpfulness of antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and fish oil. While no research has yet confirmed this, anecdotal observation has shown a number of cases where the kind of diet recommended for the prevention of heart disease has also proven useful in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Again, while nothing has been shown for sure, including some of these measures in your lifestyle may help you to avoid Alzheimer’s will improve your overall health and quality of life.