According to the "Alzheimer Prevention" website, run by the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, there are "4 pillars" to the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
The first pillar is the diet and vitamins.
Cutting out trans fats and saturated fats, especially those from animal products like red meat, is a good starting point, as is increasing the amount of antioxidant-rich foods we eat. The idea behind this advice is to reduce the production of free radicals as much as possible (something that a high-fat diet can cause), while increasing the levels of antioxidants, which fight the free radicals that float around our body. The addition of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are found in many fish and also in flaxseed oil, and the consumption of plant-based proteins such as soy can also help.
Certain vitamins may also be helpful, such as coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid, or ginkgo biloba (an herb that has been shown to help with memory problems), phosphatidylserine (a supplement that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration). Administration for its usefulness for memory problems), omega-3s and acetyl-L-carnitine. Huperzine-A and vinpocetine may also be good for people who already have moderate to severe memory loss.
The second pillar is stress management.
The latest research has linked stress to an increased risk of memory problems and Alzheimer's disease. The worst type of stress, at least when it comes to our health, is the chronic type. Daily stress produces a surge in cortisol, which at high levels can actually damage cells in the brain's memory center. Meditation has been shown to help lower cortisol levels, as do hypnosis, deep breathing, massage, visualization and guided imagery, and prayer. Trying one or more of these options can lead to a breakthrough in lowering stress levels and therefore improving our health and memory.
The third pillar focuses on exercise.
Regular physical exercise can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's by 50%. The type of exercise doesn't really matter, just choose something that you like to do. Mental exercise is also important. Neurologists have found that actions such as reading, writing, playing board games and doing crossword puzzles can reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer's disease by up to 70%. Performing these types of activities for about 20 minutes, three times a week, can be of great help. However, the key is that the activity has to be a bit difficult and break the routine in an unexpected way.
The fourth pillar has to do with medications and hormones.
Prompt treatment of memory problems with the right medications can help prevent these problems from getting worse. There is also evidence that hormone replacement therapy can be beneficial for memory.
- Living with Alzheimer's