Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, which is a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life, making up 60=80% of dementia cases.
What causes Alzheimer's?
Experts agree that the majority of Alzheimer's cases probably develops as a result of complex interactions among multiple factors such as:
- Coexisting medical conditions
Some other preventable risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s are obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
The most common early symptom of Alzheimer's is difficulty remembering newly learned information. However, as Alzheimer’s advance,s it leads to increasingly severe symptoms such as:
- Mood and behavior changes
- Deepening confusion about events, time and place
- Unfounded suspicions about family, friends, and professional caregivers
- More serious memory loss and behavior changes
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, and walking
How Can I Prevent Alzheimer’s?
Focusing on exercise and your diet are two great ways to help prevent Alzheimer's.
According to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise is recommended each week. Remember, any exercise is better than none! You can start slow if you don’t think you can meet the 150 minutes right away.
Some evidence suggests that eating a healthy diet may support brain health. Two diets that have been proven beneficial are the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and the Mediterranean diet. The DASH diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, and poultry. The Mediterranean diet includes fruits, vegetables, little or no red meat, fish and shellfish, and nuts.
Help is Available!
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association is a trusted resource for reliable information, education, and support.
- 24/7 Helpline: 800-272-3900 or visit www.alz.org
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