Alzheimer’s disease is a common health issue during the age of senility. It is the most familiar and common form of dementia and is considered to be an incurable and terminal degenerative disease. Alzheimer’s disease usually starts at 65 but it may happen at an earlier age. Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease is only limited to care-giving, psychosocial, medical and environmental intervention.
Despite the disease’s increasing popularity in people in old age, different studies have found different ways of reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Walk at least Five Miles each Week
A study presented at the annual conference of the Radiological Society of North America suggested that walking can slow down cognitive decline in adults experiencing mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and even in adults with no signs of cognitive impairment. Lead researcher from the University of Pittsburgh Department Of Radiology, Cyrus Raji, said that they had found that walking for a minimum of five miles a week helps protect the brain from damage, especially in areas responsible for learning and memory, for ten years. They also found that it slows down the decline of memory loss for over years.
In the data provided by the National Institute of Aging, around 2 to 5 million Americans suffer from the disease and the numbers are expected to increase in the next years. The fact that Alzheimer’s disease is irreversible and that no cure has been found to make the brain recover from the damage makes it one of the biggest health issues in the world. Minor cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition wherein in a person experiences serious age-related memory loss but not as grave as that of Alzheimer’s disease. But around 50 percent of MCI cases continue to develop into a full blown Alzheimer’s disease. Raji said that the best way of coping with the problem, since treatment is not yet available, is to find ways to alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, slow down its progression and help improve the patient’s quality of life.
Take your B-Vitamins Religiously
A group of British researchers examined the effects of B Vitamins in the prevention of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. According to their study, increased dosage of Vitamin B is potent in the reduction of brain shrinkage which is the common cause of Alzheimer’s disease. The best results of the study recorded a 50 percent brain shrinkage reduction. This serves as an indication that B Vitamins can be effective in the delaying, if not totally preventing the development of, the degenerative disease. Their research will be followed by a longer study in the aims of obtaining more concrete evidence. Previous studies dedicated to the discovery of a cure or a method to prevent Alzheimer’s disease all ended in vain. Meanwhile, the promising results of the British study are receiving a well-deserved commendation.
The research was led by Dr. David Smith of the University of Oxford. He and his team of researchers recruited 168 participants suffering from mild cognitive impairments including language problems, memory loss, and other mental challenges. About 16 percent of people aged 70 and above suffer from impaired cognitive skills and around 50 percent of the group developed Alzheimer’s disease.
In order to measure the efficacy of the method, patients were put under magnetic resonance imaging or MRI to measure the volume of the brain. At a normal circumstance, the human brain experiences a 0.5 percent shrinkage per year. Participants who received the placebo experienced a 1.08 percent shrinkage while the participants who received the B vitamin intervention only had a .76 percent shrinkage.
The researchers described the results of their study as dramatic and beyond what they had expected. But Smith warned the public from the adverse effects of unsupervised intake of high levels of B vitamins.
Use Grape Seed Extract
According to lead researcher Giulio Pasinetti MD, special laboratory mice were used to test whether or not the oral administration of grape seed extract can be beneficial to people in terms of protecting the human brain from the ravages of beta-amyloid deposits.
The result of the study was two-fold:
1. Upon oral administration of the grape seed extract to the Tg2576 mice, beta-amyloid deposits started to decrease.
2. In addition to the reduction of the harmful deposits, it appears that grape seed extract also helps control the cognitive decline that has also been associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers noted that because of the results of their tests, grape seed extract has a promising future as an Alzheimer’s preventive, as well as a memory enhancer for people who don’t have AD.
Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3
Due to their roles as powerful antioxidants, omega- 3 fatty acids have been shown to provide favourable effects on the heart, with its action of combating inflammatory activities, and on protecting nerve cell membrane.
In relation to Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists from UCLA’s Alzheimer Disease Center have discovered that high levels of omega-3 intake may lead to heightened chances of reducing an individual’s risk of cognitive decline, or dementia. The particular omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) heightens LR 11 production. This protein is discovered to be capable of destroying or arresting the protein responsible for plaque formation, beta amyloid, which is a major factor linked to Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, LR 11 is found in patients whose levels of Alzheimer’s disease have been significantly reduced. As such, because high LR11 levels prevent toxic plaque formation, low LR11 levels may be considered as a risk factor. Other studies have also associated low DHA levels with cognitive decline or damage, and insufficient amounts may increase oxidative stress in the brain of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s.
Supplement with CoQ10
Similar to omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric, supplementation of coenzyme Q10 reportedly offers multi-layered benefits for humans. Furthermore, a study by the John Hopkins University in 2006 that involved animals showed that CoQ10 supplementation can prevent cognitive impairment and dysfunction. Links are found through its capacity of inhibiting oxidative stress, inhibiting the formation of blood clots, improving the cells’ energy reproduction, and in being an antioxidant. These tasks enable coenzyme Q10 to improve memory and cognitive functions.