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Change your lifestyle, change your mind

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. It is a complex disease with many risk factors, but research has shown there are a few small changes you can make to lower your risk.

Sleep Well An article posted on Harvard Health suggests, getting good quality sleep can lower the risk. “Amyloid proteins accumulate in your brain daily. When you are in slow-wave sleep, the deep sleep phase when your memories are shored up, your brain sweeps out any surplus amyloid proteins. If your sleep is interrupted, during this slow-wave phase, these amyloid proteins can build up, forming plaque on brain tissue.” According to this article, getting a solid eight hours of sleep is recommended.

Exercise “Regular exercise can reduce your risk by up to 50 percent, according to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation. Women from ages 40 to 60, who exercised regularly, demonstrated a profound reduction in cognitive decline and memory loss.” The benefits, to those who have already been diagnosed, have been shown to slow the progression of the disease. It is thought, exercise helps maintain the old connections in the brain while creating new ones. Aerobic exercise and strength training is recommended. Aim for 30 to 40 minutes, three to four days a week.

Nutrition An article on suggested, “Brain scans taken at the beginning of one study show those eating a Western diet already had more amyloid protein deposits than those eating a Mediterranean diet.

Scientists believe these proteins are a waste product from the energy expended when brain cells communicate”*. This particular diet includes eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, fish, moderate amounts of eggs, dairy, red wine, and eating red meat sparingly.

Part 2 continues next month.


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