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Reducing Risk of Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia; in fact it is the most common type of dementia. Around 70% cases of dementia are that of Alzheimer's disease.

Anurag Khare 

What is Alzheimer's disease?
Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia; in fact it is the most common type of Around 70% cases of are that of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease causes memory loss, impacts ability to think and behave appropriately and much more. The disease is named after German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois who first observed and discovered the disease in his patients in 1906. With Alzheimer's disease first the symptoms begin mildly but over time worsen and start interfering in daily activities of the person thus effecting quality of life of the individual negatively. A recent study has concluded that around 4 million people in India suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately there is no complete cure available for the disease but research and development for the same is underway. Once diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease life expectancy of the person is around 10 years.

Alzheimer's disease Details
Alzheimer's disease is more prevalent in individuals over the age of 65 years. But early onset of Alzheimer's disease is also not very uncommon. After reaching 65 years of age, the odds that an individual with get affected by the said disease keeps on doubling up every 5 years. Exact reason of what causes Alzheimer's disease is still unknown but there are numerous research and clinical trials in progress. Genetic factors and diseases such as high blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol are believed to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease in individuals. As no treatment to cure Alzheimer's disease is available the medications are given to fight and gain relief from the symptoms. For a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease support from family and near and dear ones is of immense importance.

Alzheimer's disease Symptoms
Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed based on brain scan and cognitive tests. The most common symptom is loss of both short-term and long-term memory. Initially, many times symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are regarded as part of normal aging process and dismissed as typical age-related issues. But as the diseases progresses individuals will shows clear signs such as confusion, change in personality, mood fluctuations, losing track of date and time, difficulty in understanding, communicating and much more. Other symptoms may include difficult completing even simple tasks at home or work, confusion regarding place and time, trouble understanding things and much more. For many individuals Alzheimer's disease would also mean diminished eyesight and withdrawal from day to day activities.

Preventing and Reducing Risk of Alzheimer's disease
Preventing and fighting the Alzheimer's disease is part of practising overall healthy aging. The best way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease at a later stage in life is to adopt healthy living and embracing effective lifestyle changes. If one falls in the high-risk bracket meaning if you have history of Alzheimer's disease, Down syndrome and other psychological or mental problems in your family then one should be extra careful. The best way to cut risk of the Alzheimer's disease is to include regular exercise in one’s daily routine. Exercising regularly cuts the risk to up to 50%. Even in patients who have developed initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s exercising regularly can help defer the growth of the disease and brain cell damage. Include exercises that stimulate both the body and mind. Cardio exercise, strength training, brisk walking, swimming and balance and coordination exercises like Yoga are highly recommended. Second most important tip is healthy eating; eat fresh and healthy and avoid sugar and fats. Prevent stress through remaining active and socializing and through getting enough and quality sleep. In older age mental stimulation through cultivating new hobbies such as solving puzzles, learning new language also helps.

First Published: Thu, October 12 2017. 10:35 IST