Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive disease that starts with memory loss and is a common form of dementia. Gradually, this disease will affect being able to carry on conversations and how one responds to their environment. With Alzheimer’s Disease, parts of the brain that controls memory, language and thoughts are affected.1 As this disease progresses, it can affect an individual’s ability to conduct daily activities.
With continued research in this area, scientists still do not have a cause for this disease. Research does show that as one ages, so does their risk factor for Alzheimer’s. As we age, our risk increases for developing this disease. Two other important risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s Disease is family history and heredity.2 Genetics plays a role in who is more likely to get Alzheimer’s.
What can we do today to help delay the risks for Alzheimer’s? Research is beginning to show that we can control and delay other risk factors for this disease by keeping our brains and bodies healthy as we age.3
Controllable risk factors include:
- Avoiding smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Exercising the mind and body
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Staying socially connected
How much of a role does diet and exercise play in lowering the risks of Alzheimer’s Disease? The Alzheimer’s association is funding research to explore how diet, exercise, lifestyle and mental well-being affect the onset of this disease.4
Since exercise can increase oxygen and blood flow to the brain, it can help benefit the brain. A healthy diet can help with maintaining a healthy weight along with lowering other risk factors for type 2 diabetes. The association is also researching how staying socially connected could help slow cognitive decline in the brain.
While the research is ongoing, diet and exercise can help with brain health. When visiting your loved one seek ways to incorporate physical activity into their day. Working out with someone can be beneficial for social connections too.
At Live your LifeTM we offer physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, personal training, acupuncture, massage therapy, and health coaching, along with dietary services.
In good health,
Dr. Eva Norman
President & Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Live Your Life TM
Bringing Physical Therapy & Wellness to You!
Note: This blog is for informational purposes only, if you have a medical concern talk to your healthcare provider.
1 CDC http://www.cdc.gov/aging/aginginfo/alzheimers.htm. Accessed on November 12, 2016.
2 Risk Factors, http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_causes_risk_factors. Accessed on November 20, 2016.
3,4 Prevention and risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, http://www.alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_prevention_and_risk.asp. Accessed on November 20, 2016