Can Alzheimer’s Disease be Prevented?
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating cause of dementia in which the brain’s nerve cells become blocked by dense deposits of plaque in the brain tissue. Once Alzheimer’s begins to develop, there is no way to reverse the damage; the disease can only be slowed down. While research does continue to search for a cure for Alzheimer’s, prevention is currently considered the best hope for reducing the devastation of this disease. Alzheimer’s is not only hard on the patients who have it, but it can also be a significant challenge for family members, as patients who are struggling with severe dementia in later stages of the disease may no longer be able to recognize them. This article will serve as a guide to prevention to help everyone reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s disease.
In a very small percentage of people—less than 1% of the population—there are genetic mutations that are associated with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease . In these individuals, Alzheimer’s will be an inevitability, but research is pointing to drugs and treatments that might delay or reduce the severity of symptoms.
For the majority of people, Alzheimer’s prevention is a possibility, though there does not appear to be a single answer for prevention that works. Currently, a cocktail of certain habits seems to be the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s since there are so many factors that can affect brain health. Habits that promote your overall health such as following a reasonable diet and exercising regularly help with Alzheimer’s prevention as well, so there is all the more reason to begin making changes in these areas if you struggle to eat right or stay active. Other keys to prevention may include ongoing social engagement and brain exercise with puzzles and games that challenge the mind. Keeping the mind active seems to have a positive result in delaying or preventing memory loss, so older adults should be careful not to settle into routines that do not stimulate the mind.
If you suspect that a loved one is showing the early signs of dementia, connect with the Neurology & Neurosurgery Department at MountainView Hospital. You can reach us on our website or by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 233-5474.