Lowering Alzheimer’s Risk
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Lowering Alzheimer’s Risk

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of chronic dementia that affects about 6.5 million people. It is connected with the parts of the brain that are responsible for thought, memory, and language. Memory loss of a basic nature is the first indicator of Alzheimer's disease, and it can eventually progress to the point where the patient is completely unable to carry on a basic conversation or react at all to their surroundings. Memory issues are one of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. People who have Alzheimer’s can gradually lose their capacity to have a conversation and react to their surroundings.

Advances in the treatment of heart disease and cancer are largely responsible for a true decline in mortality and a change in the bio-demographics of aging over the past 150 years. If the trend continues, most babies born in advanced nations at the beginning of the 21st century can reasonably expect to live past the age of 100. As the population ages, however, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia are also increasing. Neuropathological studies, however, have shown that most of the individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease have it in combination with other neurodegenerative diseases.

Evidence has shown that formal education, even just at the high school level, can reduce the risk of a person developing Alzheimer’s disease. Education is supposed to increase a person’s thinking behavior, which confers to the brain’s ability to preserve and maintain cognitive function. A high education reserve, therefore, acts as a safeguard against cognitive impairment, which can occur naturally as a person goes through the aging process.

Lifestyle choices such as physical exercise, social and mental activities, cardiovascular health, and good sleep habits can also help to protect brain function and further reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Smoking, physical inactivity, and depression all enhance Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Exercise has not only been associated with a reduced risk of developing dementia, but also many vascular risk factors such as high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation, which have all been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Engaging in exercise several times a week, for 30 to 60 minutes, is more than enough to keep thinking, reasoning, and learning skills sharp for healthy individuals. Quitting smoking is also one of the best things you can do for your health. Smoking not only damages the lungs, but the cardiovascular system, and poor circulation is one of the indicators for developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

Your alcohol intake may also contribute. Drinking can affect your sleep habits, and sleep is the body’s mechanism for repairing and regulating body systems. DIsrupted sleep may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. Drinking can also affect your judgment and behavior. Memory loss is a problem with chronic drinkers, and for heavy drinking it can have long term effects lasting beyond the time you’re drinking. It can also lead to your heart becoming enlarged, which is a serious condition that cannot be completely reversed, but stopping drinking can prevent it from becoming worse.