Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time.
Can Alzheimer’s be prevented? It’s a question that intrigues researchers and fuels new investigations. To be honest, there are no clear-cut answers about how Alzheimer is caused— partially due to the need for more large-scale studies with various populations.
What do we know about how Alzheimer is caused?
Experts agree that Alzheimer’s, like other common chronic conditions, most probably develops as a result of complex interactions among multiple factors, including age, genetics, environment, lifestyle and coexisting medical conditions. Although some risk factors — such as genes and age cannot be changed, other risk factors such as high blood pressure and lack of exercise usually can be changed. Research in these areas may lead to new ways to detect those at highest risk.
Research also shows, that a family history of Alzheimers’ does not mean for sure that you’ll have it. But, it may mean you are more likely to develop it.
A healthy lifestyle helps
Though research is still evolving, evidence is strong that people can reduce their risk by making key lifestyle changes, including participating in regular activity and maintaining good heart health.
Some shocking insights sofar:
- As many as 80 percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease also have cardiovascular disease.
- Exercise may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood and oxygen flow in the brain.
- Heart-healthy eating (limit sugar and saturated fats, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) may also help protect the brain.
- Maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active as we age might lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.
- There appears to be a strong link between future risk of Alzheimer’s and serious head trauma, especially when injury involves loss of consciousness.
Tips to avoid that Alzheimer is caused
Based on this research, the Alzheimer’s Association offers an overview of 10 Ways to Love Your Brain. This is a collection of tips that can reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
In summary, this is how you can avoid that Alzheimer is caused:
- keep your brain trained (continue education/challenging your mind)
- do not smoke
- take good care of your heart
- healthy food (fruit/vegetables)
- manage blood pressure and diabetes
- protect yourself from head injuries
- sleep enough (7 – 9 hours a day)
- take care of mental health
- stay socially engaged
Growing evidence indicates that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by adopting key lifestyle habits. When possible, combine these habits to achieve maximum benefit for brain and body.
US Department of Health and Human Services