Senior Core Issue: Best Steps to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

In our previous Senior Core Edition, we discussed how to identify the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. In this edition we are going to look at strategies to prevent or at least delay the development of this terrible condition in the first place and improve your quality of life.

 

Harvard Medical tells us that many drug and natural supplement clinical trials have not demonstrated any significant improvement in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. What they have found to be clinically significant is that by staying both mentally and physically fit, you can prevent the onset or delay the symptoms.

 

One study showed that those with more “cognitive reserve”, the ability to think and remember, fared better in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Two groups of people with the same amount of amyloid plaque in the brain were compared and those with more education scored better on overall cognitive function. The thinking is that more education and brain exercise may create a greater cognitive reserve that raises the threshold against the start of this disease. The lesson here is to keep learning and using your brain in new ways to maintain brain health.

 

Two other studies demonstrated that increasing ones overall fitness levels, in particular, cardiovascular fitness, may delay cognitive decline. The thinking here is that higher fitness levels assist in the maintenance of healthy blood vessels allowing better nutrition to the brain. Better fitness also increases overall blood flow to the brain which again provides better nutrition and detoxification. People who were more active on a daily basis performed much better on cognitive function tests.

 

There has also been some recent evidence that a vitamin B12 deficiency may be associated with early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Regular blood work is very important to assess one’s B12 levels and this can be supplemented if the levels are low.

 

In summary, Harvard Medical is recommending that we stay both mentally and physically active as being the best options to fight off Alzheimer’s disease and for improving our overall quality of life.

 

Thank you for checking in.

 

Dr. Pat