Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are not inevitable with aging.
In recent years, researchers have identified many factors that may slow
or prevent the development of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
Researchers have shown that the following factors can help prevent Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia:
Control diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and obesity. There's increasing evidence that these major risk factors for heart disease and stroke may also predispose people to dementia.
Control cardiovascular risk factors. Vascular dementia, a common form of the illness, results from damage related to small and large blood vessel disease. By controlling cardiovascular risk factors, you may prevent the blockages and damage to the blood vessels to your brain that can lead to this condition.
Manage depression. Like dementia, depression can cause difficulty in remembering, thinking clearly and concentrating. Sometimes, depression occurs with dementia. Treating depression won't stop dementia from progressing, but it could help minimize its impact.
Keep your mind sharp. Some researchers believe that lifelong learning may promote the growth of additional synapses in your brain, and, therefore, reduce the risk of dementia. Try reading, writing stories or playing cards or checkers. Or start a new hobby. Studies have found an association between frequent participation in intellectually stimulating activities and reduced risk of Alzheimer's.
Stay connected with friends. Spending time with family and friends, volunteering or joining a group helps stimulate your memory, concentration and mental processing.
About Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a slowly progressive disease of
the brain that is characterized by impairment of memory and eventually by
disturbances in reasoning, planning, language, and perception. Alzheimer's
disease is the most common cause of dementia,
which afflicts 24 million people worldwide. Alzheimer's
disease is not a normal part of aging and is not something that inevitably
happens in later life. It is rarely seen before the age of 65. The likelihood
of having Alzheimer's
disease increases substantially after the age of 70 and may affect around
50% of persons over the age of 85.
Dementia is a progressive brain dysfunction (in Latin 'dementia' means irrationality), which results in a restriction of daily activities and in most cases leads in the long term to the need for care. Many diseases can result in dementia, the most common one being Alzheimer's disease .
The probability of suffering from dementia increases with advancing age. Dementia predominantly occurs in the second half of our life, often after the age of 65. The frequency of dementia increases with rising age from less than 2 % for the 65-69-year-olds, to 5 % for the 75-79 year-olds and to more than 20 % for the 85-89 year-olds. Every third person over 90 years of age suffers from moderate or severe dementia . About half of those affected by dementia suffer from Alzheimer's disease.