Alzheimer’s is a primary neurodegenerative alteration that occurs more frequently in people over the age of 65, although it can sometimes occur in middle-aged people. When a person suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, microscopic changes in the tissue of certain parts of the brain and the constant loss of the chemical called acetylcholine, which is vital for brain function, occur.
This substance is related to the communication of nerve cells and mental activities such as learning, memory and thinking.
In the research conducted to date, no exact cause of Alzheimer’s has been established and it is difficult to determine exactly who is at risk.
However, there are studies that have correlated some factors with a higher risk of suffering from this disease: age (between 60 and 65 years), sex (women contract it more often), heredity , genetic factors and mono-environmental factors (smoking, high fat diets, pollution).
What are the neurological symptoms of a person with Alzheimer’s?
At the beginning, small and imperceptible memory losses arise and can be ignored easily.
However, over time, this loss of memory is becoming more and more noticeable to the point that the person becomes unable to carry out his daily activities.
Without the most serious cases, people have problems with intellectual activities such as speaking, understanding, reading or writing.
Alzheimer’s symptoms include:
- Short-term memory loss: difficulties in retaining new information.
- Long-term memory loss: difficulty remembering personal information such as important dates, profession, or even name.
- Problems of reasoning.
- Misunderstanding of common words
- The inability to make laces or button her shirt.
- Changes in character: irritability, confusion, apathy or weakness, among others.
How can Alzheimer’s disease prevent itself?
Alzheimer’s is a disease that can prevent itself or, at least, it is possible to prolong the state of cognitive well-being for a few years.
Experts recommend learning how to detect early symptoms and how to exercise both memory and intellectual function.
In the following paragraphs, we will discuss some key tips for preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s.
Controlling vascular risk factors
Maintain balanced levels of cholesterol , sugar and high blood pressure.
Change your lifestyle
- Diet: It is very important to follow a healthy diet because it has been verified that certain foods could influence the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s.
You need to increase the consumption of ‘good’ monounsaturated foods, such as nuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, avocados, cinnamon or olives; polyunsaturated foods such as omega-3s and green vegetables; other nutrients such as vitamin E, found in wheat germ, whole grains, green vegetables, nuts ; the vitamin B12 in animal products; vitamin B9 (folic acid)in foods like beans, green vegetables, oranges.
Reduce your consumption of red meats, refined foods, butter and dairy-derived fats.
- Do more exercises: Physical exercise is very good for general health and also for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Various researches have established that at 2 hours a week of exercises, the risk of developing this disease is reduced.
- Do not smoke: Smoking is one of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s.
It has been shown that people who are addicted to cigarettes are more likely to become ill than those who do not smoke.
If you have not yet succeeded in stopping this bad habit, we recommend using alternatives to quit smoking .
- Increase cognitive activity: Cognitive activities can be avoided and prolong in a certain way the appearance of a disease such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Many studies have determined that these activities are a good exercise for brain function and memory, and that they could be key in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Among the activities advised by the experts, we find:
- To speak several languages
- Play an instrument
- Read often
- To study
- Have a great social activity
- Challenge yourself with intellectual games like chess, crossword puzzles, puzzles, sudoku and all other types of games that stimulate thought.
Until today, there is no exact way to know if a person will develop a disease like Alzheimer’s.
It is very important to take into account the risk factors, since they can be key in the early detection of this disease.
Until today, we can not say that we can stop its evolution, but detecting it in time can help improve the quality of life of the patient.