Alzheimer's, 5 tips to prevent this disease

During the last decades, many studies have looked for the risk factors of Alzheimer, looking for advice to prevent this disease. There is still much to know, but the combination of healthy dietary habits and regular physical exercise can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

These lifestyle changes for prevent Alzheimer's they present additional benefits, especially on weight, cardiovascular health and the risk of diabetes. These studies have helped to know how to reduce the risk of presenting a Alzheimer's or a dementia. And that is demonstrated and is clear. The risk of developing a dementia can be reduced, but not with a pill. It is a change in life habits, they are long-term changes.

5 tips to prevent Alzheimer's disease

If by saying "reduce risk" we mean "prevent", we can prevent Alzheimer disease and dementia, but you have to start looking after yourself soon. Sooner. Worth.

1. DreamWe must maintain a sleep routine with an amount of sleep of approximately 7-8 hours. It is important to evaluate and treat underlying sleep disorders, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome because sleep disorders have been linked to cognitive decline in older adults.

2. Physical exercise. We must include aerobic exercise in our routine, which is equivalent to walking briskly for 40 minutes 3 times a week. Physical activity is beneficial for an aging in health. It can also help maintain a good cognitive function in the elderly. There is evidence in favor that aerobic physical activity that improves cardiorespiratory health is beneficial for the cognitive function of older adults.

3. Cognitive stimulation.Exercising the brain is a fundamental part of a person's life and is something that we can also enjoy. It should be part of a healthy lifestyle in the same way that physical exercise does. Nor should we forget social activities, hobbies, leisure activities ... they form a major part of that lifestyle.

It is believed that by keeping the brain active we are building reserves for the brain and its connections. There is a concept called cognitive reserve that postulates that people who have a greater cognitive reserve (higher education, better nutritional habits or lower levels of stress, for example) may have a greater capacity to face aggressions to their brain or may take more time to reach the detection threshold of dementia. Therefore, people with more cognitive reserve would be less likely to have cognitive symptoms associated with dementia compared to individuals with the same brain alterations and lower cognitive reserve.

- Those activities that exercise the brain to prevent Alzheimer's pThey can collaborate on that cognitive reserve, in such a way that it can help compensate for the damage caused by Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. As the brain is able to compensate and continue to function properly, the onset of dementia can be delayed.

- There are no standardized exercises for everyone. The activities should be entertaining and, preferably, should be part of our life and our daily life. Almost any type of mental activity can be beneficial, but preferably it should involve a new learning and complex, varied and interesting reasoning. It is recommended that it does not take long, but that we are constant in it. Each day occupy a time in a task of mental activity, but without breaking our routines. For example, after breakfast and before leaving to do errands, but not after eating, when the situation is not so favorable to be concentrated and enjoy.

- Some of the activities that involve exercising the brain and that have been associated with a reduction in the risk of dementia are: reading, listening to the radio, visiting museums, signing up for a course, learning a new language, playing musical instruments, participating in leisure activities (sports, hobbies, dancing, gardening, cultural activities ...), crosswords, board games, puzzles, sudoku ...

- Many of these activities combine social interaction, physical exercise and mental activity. Recent studies suggest that combining these components offers a great benefit in terms of reducing the risk of dementia.

4. Control of vascular risk factors. We must not forget at any time a fundamental issue for the reduction of the risk of dementia, such as the control of what we call "vascular risk factors": hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia. Even if a person does not present any of these problems, we must monitor blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol with our Primary Care physician.Also, the consumption of snuff is another factor of risk of dementia that we can modify, since it almost doubles the probability of presenting an Alzheimer's disease.

5. Food

1. Reduce the intake of saturated fats or trans fats. Saturated fats are found mainly in dairy products, meats and some oils (palm oil or coconut oil, present in many prepared foods, although we are not aware of this). Trans fats can be found in snacks or in the category of "partially hydrogenated oils".

2. We must replace dairy and meat as main elements of our diet and prefer vegetables, legumes, fruit and whole grains.

3. Vitamin E It should come from food, instead of vitamin supplements. The sources of vitamin E are seeds, nuts, leafy greens and whole grains. The recommended daily amount of vitamin E is 15 mg.

4. Provide an adequate amount of vitamin B12 from both fortified foods and supplements. It is recommended to periodically perform blood tests with vitamin B12 levels, since many factors, such as age, can alter its absorption.

5. If you consume vitamin supplements, those that do not contain iron or copper are recommended. You should only take iron supplements when prescribed by your doctor.

6. Although the role of aluminum in Alzheimer's is still under investigation, Those who wish to reduce exposure to this metal, should avoid it in kitchen utensils, avoid excess consumption of antacids or baking powder or other products that contain it.

Dr. Carmen Terrón. Neurology. INEAMAD - Hospital Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Madrid)

Video: Reducing Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Video – Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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