May 19, 2023
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia, a more general term for memory loss that interferes with daily living. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of all dementia cases.*
Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of the aging process, but increased age is the greatest known risk factor. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over many years. In the early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on conversations and respond appropriately to their environment.
While there are no studies to show that Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented, the evidence is strong that people can reduce their risk by focusing on brain health. Brain health is important at all ages and can prevent or delay cognitive deficits in the future. Brain health in seniors is especially important. As we age, certain parts of the brain shrink, especially those that control learning and mental activities. Because the brain controls so much of the daily function, it is arguably the single most valuable organ in the body.
Simple Ways to Nurture Your Brain Health
- Incorporate Exercise into your weekly schedule. Maintaining a regular exercise routine is one of the most effective ways to promote brain health.
- Keep your mind active. Think of your brain as a muscle. Engage your brain in new or challenging activities, such as puzzles, reading, games, and social interaction.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is crucial to brain health both in quantity and quality. The general amount of sleep recommended for adults is 7-8 hours per night. A regular sleep-wake schedule will help your body stay in rhythm and promote quality sleep.
Some of the above everyday actions can be important in keeping your brain healthy and active. Beyond taking care of your brain health, it is important also to support those that are caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. It is a difficult journey for everyone involved, and we all have the power to positively impact brain health for ourselves and others around us.