Health and Environment|

New Studies Reveal Lifestyle Choices that Could Prevent Alzheimer’s

Senior w/ Alzheimer's

One of the biggest fears of growing older is getting Alzheimer’s disease. It is scary to think that, as a person ages, they may start to forget the people who love them the most. Although there have been a lot of breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s disease over the years, doctors still have not found a way to prevent it. However, new research shows a few different lifestyle choices that could help people avoid getting this disease.

Studies have found seven lifestyle choices that could help prevent about three million cases of Alzheimer’s worldwide. The seven lifestyle changes are: enhancing mental activity, controlling blood pressure and diabetes, managing obesity and depression, not smoking, and increasing physical activity. Doctors now seem to think that it is the failure to follow these lifestyle guidelines that can lead to Alzhemier’s.

Currently most experts say that there are about 33.9 million people in the world that have Alzheimer’s. This is a number that most people expect to triple over the next 40 years or so. The author of this study, Dr Deborah Barnes, said that, given the current absence of a disease modifying treatment, there has been a growing interest in the identification of what causes Alzheimer’s. This recent study has really helped to identify a very wide range of risk factors that could lead to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The study went on to show that low educational attainment actually contributes to the largest proportion of people getting Alzheimer’s. In fact, it is said that 19 percent, or 6.5 million people, get Alzheimer’s due to this. The second biggest cause of Alzheimer’s is smoking, which contributes to about 14 percent of all cases, or 4.7 million. Next on the list was physical inactivity, which contributes to about 13 percent, or 4.3 million cases.

Dr Barnes went on to say that what really matters is how common the risk factors are in the population. In the United States, for example, about a third of the population is sedentary. Thus, a large number of Alzheimer’s cases in the United States come from physical inactivity. Although physical inactivity may not be a problem in other countries, they have other things that are the major contributor to Alzheimer’s.

She went on to explain, in the United States and Japan, low education is not the biggest cause of Alzheimer’s. However, when people look at the worldwide scale, it is the number one cause of the disease. Smoking is another big one that contributes to this disease, and the sad part is that smoking is still a very big problem all over.

As of right now there is no medication or treatment that can cure Alzheimer’s. Although this may change someday thanks to advances in medication, for now people have to rely on lifestyle changes to fight off this disease.



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