Basic things you should know about Alzheimer’s disease

Nearly 30 million people worldwide are affected by the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the most recent estimates indicate that this number will quadruple within the next 40 years. The concern increases as AD is the leading cause of dementia, and, so far, there is no effective treatment to slow the progression or delay the onset of this malady. Alzheimers is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Alzheimers is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimers disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Alzheimers is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimers are 65 and older. Alzheimers is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimers, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimers has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimers treatments cannot stop Alzheimers from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimers and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing. ...

For many years, weve been told that theres little we can do to prevent Alzheimers disease and other types of dementia but hope for the best and wait for a pharmaceutical cure. But the truth is you can reduce your risk by eating right, exercising, staying mentally and socially active, and keeping stress in check. By leading a brain-healthy lifestyle, you may be able to prevent Alzheimers symptoms and slow down, or even reverse, the process of deterioration.

The health of your brain, like the health of your body, depends on many factors.

While some factors, such as your genes, are out of your control, many powerful lifestyle factors are within your sphere of influence.

The six pillars of a brain-healthy lifestyle are:

(1) Regular exercise

(2) Healthy diet

(3) Mental stimulation

(4) Quality sleep

(5) Stress management

(6) An active social life

The more you strengthen each of the six pillars in your daily life, the healthier and hardier your brain will be. When you lead a brain-healthy lifestyle, your brain will stay working stronger and longer. ...

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