-Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
I read an opinion piece by Jean Carper author of 23 books, including: “Food –Your Miracle Medicine,” and the just-released “100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Loss,” (Little, Brown and Company), on CNN.com and found her perspective on Alzheimer’s prevention to be quite intriguing.
Time and time again, we have read that by 2050, 13.5 million Americans are predicted to be diagnosed, or have Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Jack C. de la Torre, a prominent Alzheimer’s researcher at the National Institutes of Health-funded Banner Sun Health Research Institute, says that a cure for Alzheimer’s is not in our immediate future and, “the answer is prevention, the same strategy we use against other chronic diseases of aging, such as heart disease. The evidence that we can cut our risk of Alzheimer’s is compelling and mounting constantly.”
When researching the main causes of Alzheimer’s, experts observed common factors that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s are similar to those for heart attacks and strokes such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity. Dr. De la Torre points out that, “taking care of your heart protects your brain.”
Other key lifestyle factors to be aware of that can increase you risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease are smoking and binge drinking. According to an analysis by UC San Francisco, smoking doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. In addition, UCLA scientists found that heavy drinking can trigger the development of Alzheimer’s two to three years earlier.
Alzheimer’s develops slowly just like heart disease and cancer, but the lifestyle choices we make do, play a role in the onset of the disease. Therefore, try to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices into your everyday routine whenever you can.