April 29, 2009

How to Lessen Chances of Alzheimer’s Disease (2)

Helping to ward off Alzheimer’s is the theory that one should maintain a healthy lifestyle. So you should eat a healthy and well-balanced diet every day, and should avoid eating fatty or sugary foods in excess. Tobacco should be avoided, especially since studies have shown that smoking causes a lack of oxygen to the brain and can result in irreversible damage. For this same reason, one should also avoid drinking in excess.

Be socially active also helps to lower the risks of Alzheimer’s disease, the interaction with other people helping to stimulate the brain. Additionally, it’s important to keep both the mind and the body well exercised and fit. Workouts stimulate the cardiovascular system help to promote good overall health, as well as good mental health. Some of the strongest evidence, to date, connects the health of the heart with health of the brain. For reasons yet unknown, Alzheimer’s disease appears to be increased by a wide variety of conditions affect and do damage to the heart and blood vessels. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and high cholesterol have all been found to be conditions often go hand-in-hand with Alzheimer’s disease.

One of the more evident symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is the patient’s having trouble with figures and language usage and comprehension. For this reason, it’s highly suggested that those who are at risk of Alzheimer’s disease do what they can to promote a well exercised mind, as well as body. Numerical puzzles and word searches help to exercise the brain, as do crossword puzzles. Have you taken the time, recently, to read a good book? How about discussion groups or poetry readings? There are just many opportunities to stimulate the brain that it is often overlooked, in favor of just reclining in front of the television. Set aside time to appreciate the arts or enjoy some classical music. Any one of these things will help to stimulate the brain, as well as providing unique and stimulating conversation throughout the week.

Alzheimer’s disease is best avoided by doing one’s best to live a healthy and productive lifestyle. While this is no guarantee that a person will not get Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, it lessens the risk, as well as helping to avoid other health related issues.

April 22, 2009

How to Lessen Chances of Alzheimer’s Disease (1)

Alzheimer’s disease is a disastrous degeneration of the memory and thinking portions of the brain. Characterized by tangled fibers and protein clumps only detectable after the patient passes on, Alzheimer’s disease commonly attacks people aged 65 and older. Up to now, there isn’t a cure for this disease, no way of slowing its destructive path, nor is there any method of reversing the damage that it does. The main question, however, is whether or not Alzheimer’s disease is preventable. Do you want to know how to lessen the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease? While the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is debatable, recent research has been working on finding out how to prevent this form of dementia.

There are many risk factors can be attributed to Alzheimer’s disease. Age, genetics and family history are risk factors cannot be helped, nor can be change. Some of the best information has been uncovered in recent years, however, has been gathered from studying identical twins; those who have the same genes and are of the same age, but who have experienced life in different styles. These twin studies have shown: when one twin develops Alzheimer’s disease, the other will be at an increased risk of contracting the disease, but won’t necessarily develop it.

Other studies shows - even in cases where both twins have Alzheimer’s, the age where symptoms begin to appear could vary significantly. Even though there may be a strong genetic influence in Alzheimer’s disease, other factors also seem to play a major role. These other factors are aspects we can alter and what we have to focus on, while examining methods of lowering risk factors in Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease attacks the nerve cells in the brain. Maybe for this reason, there appears to be a strong relation between Alzheimer’s patients and those who have suffered severe head trauma. Even without the risk of Alzheimer’s taken into consideration, it’s a good idea to protect the head from injury. For this reason, it’s important you wear a helmet when bicycling, you should fall-proof your home and practice caution and always use your safety belt, when riding in a vehicle.

April 15, 2009

Alzheimer’s Top Risk Factors (2)

Alzheimer’s disease involves the malfunction or death of the nerve cells, but it’s not yet known why this occurs. Scientists continue to study this, but several key risk factors have been determined, in regards to Alzheimer’s disease. After considering the risk factors, this helps us find out more about the disease and, expectantly, may suggest ways of avoiding it. The most well known risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease is age. Most patients don’t suffer the disease until they are at least 65 years of age but, once they reach this age, the probability of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every five years or so, after the age of 65. By the time a person is 85 years of age, there is typically a 50% chance that they will develop this disease.

One more key factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease is family history and genetics. Research has shown that those who have a sibling or parent with Alzheimer’s disease are 2-3 times more likely to develop this disease. The more family members who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the greater the risk factor that a patient will develop this. Moreover, scientists have identified one gene that is known to raise the risk of a person developing Alzheimer’s, as well as definite rare genes that virtually guarantee that a person will contract a form of dementia, later in life.

While not yet proven, many researchers are exploring similarities between those who suffer Alzheimer’s disease and those who have heart disease or other connected problems, such as high cholesterol. Modern studies have shown an increased presence of plaques and tangles in the brains of patients who have suffered from strokes or similar injury. While the jury remains out on this, many suggest that a good way of helping to control Alzheimer’s disease is to keep an active and fit lifestyle, eat healthy and to promote the use of the brain, every day, through things like reading, mathematical problems or number games, and crossword puzzles. Several studies suggest that one needs to stay socially active and still more show a connection between head injuries and Alzheimer’s disease. Keeping the body fit, active, healthy and protected seem to be the greatest methods of lessening one’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

April 08, 2009

Alzheimer’s Top Risk Factors (1)

Alzheimer’s is an awfully startling neurodegenerative disease that slowly robs a person of their memories, their rationality and their ability to carry out even the simplest of tasks. Just as frightening is the knowledge that, not only can we not cure it or slow its effects, but we do not yet recognize all the factors that bring this disease about. While it’s commonly consideration to be a disease of the elderly, modern studies have shown that it can also occur in younger people, and there may be several factors, when added together, create a grown opportunity for Alzheimer’s disease to take hold.

Up to now, there is no single known cause for Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies suggest there may be genetic factors, while others believe it has to do with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Still others will argue that allowing one’s brain to ‘stagnate’ and not keeping it working; basically put, that the brain grows out of practice from lack of use, may cause it. Several scientists even claim recent studies point out the damage is done to the brain, by Alzheimer’s disease, may occur years before the patient even begins to demonstrate symptoms.

There is no actual way of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, short of an autopsy that is performed after the person passes away; only then, can the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques be detected. Plaques are the clumps of protein form outside the brain’s nerve cells, while the tangles are produced of twisted strands of other proteins which form inside the cells. These two abnormalities work both to disorder the normal processes in the brain, preventing the transfer of chemicals which pass messages from nerve cell to nerve cell. While tangles and plaques are always present on the post-mortem brains of Alzheimer’s patients, scientists do not know if it’s the tangles and plaques which cause Alzheimer’s, or if it is the disease which causes the tangles and plaques.

April 01, 2009

How Alzheimer’s Disease Lessen the Brain Power (2)

During the middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the tangles and plagues move upward in the brain, soon taking over the hippocampus. This is the segment of the brain, which is known for creating our more complex memories from objects or events. At this time, it generally becomes glaringly clear the patient is no longer safe, living without constant direction, and many are placed in nursing homes, other dedicated care facilities or is taken in, where relatives can supply them with the support and care they require. Due to the quickly deteriorating nature of this disease, it is highly recommended the patient and their family members talk about future care arrangements, prior to this point, while the patient can still make sound calls of judgment.

After this stage, the tangles and plagues continue their journey upwards, finally reaching the top of the brain and disrupting the mental processes there. Here is the part of the brain, which sorts through the various stimuli that a person comes into contact with during their day and, from that, then orchestrates all behavior. By the time the tangles and plagues have reached this part of the brain it is quite common that the patient has been admitted into a nursing home. Alzheimer’s patients in the advanced stages of the disease commonly suffer long periods of almost vegetative states, where they have no recollection of their surroundings or caregivers. Family members commonly appear as strangers and their surroundings are perceived as threatening. Usually they have forgotten simple routine tasks such as brushing their hair or using the bathroom and, as they worsen, will commonly forget how to eat, drink or even swallow.

The life expectancy of a person with Alzheimer’s disease is commonly thought to be between 5 and 10 years, with an average of about 8. Some patients, however, have been known to survive as long as 20 years before the disease took them. It is also true that Alzheimer’s disease can affect different people in different ways. Unhappily, there is no cure for Alzheimer‘s, nor is there any form of preventative medicine that one can take that will protect against this serious disease. No medicine can even slow the effects of this form of dementia, although there is discussion and research, suggesting that staying fit, keeping the mind active and eating a healthy diet may be able to lower the risk factors for developing the disease.