That number is expected to triple by 2050 making it a significant concern, not just for families, but for the entire nation.
Although knowledge is growing, the causes of Alzheimer’s aren’t fully understood. That makes it challenging to suggest preventative measures.
Because of Alzheimer’s close associations with heart disease and inflammation, there is strong evidence to suggest that what’s good for the body is also good for the brain.
A new study has taken the next step in identifying potential preventative measures. Looking at nearly 400 studies, a research team in Shanghai identified 21 possible strategies doctors could use to slow Alzheimer’s development.
Those measures include:
- Getting education early in life
- Taking part in mentally stimulating activities such as reading
- Avoiding diabetes
- Limiting stress
- Avoiding high blood pressure
- Maintaining a positive outlook
- Avoiding head trauma/injury
- Maintaining healthy weight later in life
- Controlling homocysteine levels
Another set of measures were identified, but with weaker evidence:
- Getting quality sleep
- Avoiding obesity in midlife
- Getting physical activity
- Not smoking
- Avoiding frailty
Of course, it is difficult for a person to check all of those boxes, but the more, the better. Alzheimer’s isn’t inevitable, so approaching it with a preventative approach may help you maintain memory and independence.
It may not come as much of a surprise that many of the lifestyle factors to prevent Alzheimer’s are closely associated with general health.
The road to slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s is continuous, but the decisions you make each day can help you maintain memory and mental capacity well into the future.
Mohan Garikiparithi holds a degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade. During a three-year communications program in Germany, he developed an interest in German medicine (homeopathy) and other alternative systems of medicine. This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.