Over the last several years, Alzheimer’s International Disease (ADI) has been hosting World Alzheimer’s Month in September, which is a moment to educate individuals about Alzheimer’s Disease, reduce stigma and help individuals learn how to prevent the disease in their own lives.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disease that affects your brain’s thoughts, memory, behaviors, emotions and moods. The majority of people with Alzheimer’s disease are over 65 years of age. and it affects millions worldwide. The most prevalent type of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease, which accounts for around 90% of dementia cases. It is one of the main causes of death in this nation for older adults.
Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
The first signs generally start with issues with memory. We all sometimes forget where we put the car keys, but somebody with dementia may forget this repeatedly, or even not remember how the keys got there in the first place.
Another tell-tale sign of dementia is language issues like finding the correct word or losing your thinking while mid-sentence. Dementia patients often repeat the same thing several times without realizing it. When an individual first encounters Alzheimer’s disease, normal everyday activities may become more difficult, and there might be changes in personality or mood.
As the illness develops, individuals will have problems remembering their close family or friends, and find it hard to learn how to do new things. People become more dependent on family or caregivers to complete their daily routines.
How to reduce the risk?
Since brain damage begins before we can identify Alzheimer’s disease, it is important that you do everything in your power to decrease the risk of developing dementia. The only medicine out there is to mange the effects of the disease. No surgery or medicine exists to heal Alzheimer’s or restore parts of the brain that have declined.
Even though we don’t have a cure, there are several ways you can reduce the risk or getting the condition in the first place.
- Keep the body active
One way to slow down cognitive decline to be physically active. Being physical helps the health of your body and mind by encouraging heart health, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing high blood pressure.
Try high intensity interval training, and walk to places instead of taking the car. Work around the house definitely counts, as does gardening and daily walks. Another great way is to take up a sport. This will also help you meet and connect with new people.
- Keep the brain active
There are several ways you can keep your brain active. Try learning something new that you have no experience in. Maybe there is a class at the gym that you’re interested in, or a certain skill or hobby you’ve always wanted to learn. Another way to keep the brain active is to stay socially active. By doing this, you will continue to exercise parts of the brain responsible for sentence formation, social awareness and emotions.
- Eat a healthy diet
A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, low in saturated fat and rich in leafy green plants and whole grains can go a long way toward keeping your brain healthy. This is usually in the form of a Mediterranean diet that prioritizes fish, fruits and vegetables, olive oil and avocados, and low amounts of red meat. The MIND diet in particular was specifically designed to increase brain health and has been shown to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Hearing Loss and Alzheimer’s Disease
Hearing loss impacts cognitive capacity and has been acknowledged as a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in recent studies. It has also been linked to social isolation and even depression in those who suffer from it. This social isolation reduces the opportunities that individual have to be socially active and learn new things, which could explain the connection between hearing loss and dementia.
One way to reduce your risk of dementia could be to treat your hearing loss. By treating your hearing loss, you can maintain those important connections to friends, family members and the wider world. This is instrumental in keeping cognitive abilities strong. If you have noticed changes in your hearing, contact us today to for a hearing evaluation!