Friday, January 13, 2017

Take These Steps Today to Save Your Brain: Preventing Alzheimer’s

Take These Steps Today to Save Yourself From Brain Drain: Study Shows Preventing Alzheimer’s Is Possible
By Kurtis Bright

Five Easy Steps to Prevent Alzheimer’s

We’re all getting older, no two ways about it. But when it comes to aging, there’s good news, more good news, and then there’s bad news: for one thing, if you’re getting older, that means you’re still kicking. And especially in a time when there are seemingly new breakthrough medical discoveries every day, it is now more true than ever that where there’s life, there’s hope.

There's other good news too: prior to age 65, dementia strikes a mere 5 percent of people, only one in 20. Those are pretty good odds, right off the bat.

But as always, there’s bad news too: if and when you cross that 65 year threshold, your odds of getting dementia are going to double every five years.

But fret not; all is not lost. As we learn more about aging, scientists are finding out much more about not only Alzheimer’s and dementia in general, but also about the mechanisms behind it. We are better equipped than ever to not only identify the signs much sooner than ever before, we are also on the road to developing drugs that could treat it within the next few years.

Researchers have identified five specific ways seniors whom they have dubbed “super-agers”--people over 70 who show no sign of dementia and still have the mental vibrancy of people one-third their age--manage to avoid the worst ravages of mental decline. There is lots of excitement in the research community that perhaps they can teach the rest of us how to stave off dementia.

Here are some common factors of these super-agers that we can all adopt in an effort to prevent dementia as we age.

  • Exercise isn’t just for your body - And not those useless “brain-stimulating” game apps. No, what researchers found useful for the super-agers was stimulating their brains through a variety of activities: socializing, learning a new language, taking up new hobbies, etc. It is believed that the key is to constantly challenge the three pounds of goo between our ears to achieve new things. Studies show that a bored brain is a deteriorating brain.
  • Take a pill - Aspirin, that is. Clear this one with your doctor first, but studies have shown that an aspirin a day dramatically reduces the odds of developing Alzheimer’s, and even seems to help people maintain higher cognitive skills and brain function.
  • Go fish - Or find other sources for Omega-3s like flax seed oil. A number of small-scale studies have convincingly illustrated that the omega-3s found in fish oil may retard the progression of Alzheimer’s.
  • Keep the rest of you healthy - There are seven risk factors associated with developing Alzheimer’s: high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, smoking, lack of exercise, low level of education and depression. Notice that the majority, five of them in all, are related to exercising the body and maintaining a healthy heart. It’s all one machine, folks. You can’t keep a healthy brain without a healthy body to run it any more than you can keep your car running well if you only change the tires and ignore all other maintenance.
  • Have a champagne jam - Sorry? That isn’t a typo: you heard it here first: a U.K. study--and let’s all raise a glass to the creative boozers/researchers at the University of Reading who procured funding for this study--found that in rats who consumed the human equivalent of one to three glasses of champagne a week, their spatial memory was improved. This is a huge finding, not only for those who love the bubbly: spatial memory is a key marker in preventing cognitive decline.

Alzheimer’s is by no means inevitable. Taking charge of our own health, life and destiny today is key.

Plus it’s a great excuse to keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge!

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