Sunday, 20 July 2014

How to Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a devastating disorder that nobody wants themselves or their loved ones to experience. Researchers have discovered that there are some steps that we can take to reduce the risk of developing the disease. There are no guarantees, of course, but the researchers claim that one third of Alzheimer's disease cases can be prevented.

Swimming is a great form of exercise -
public domain photo by tpsdave
The research was performed by scientists at the University of Cambridge. Their project involved analyzing population data that included a wide range of health information. The scientists found that seven factors were linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. These included physical inactivity, smoking, mid-life obesity and mid-life hypertension, or high blood pressure. Since these factors are generally considered to be unhealthy and increase the risk of many illnesses, including cardiovascular problems and cancer, their inclusion in the Alzheimer's risk list may not be surprising. Depression and a low educational level were also on the list, however.

The factor that carries the largest risk for developing Alzheimer's disease is age. The researchers say that in the United States and Europe, the controllable factor with the strongest link to Alzheimer's disease is physical inactivity. There is a lot about the disease that is not yet understood. However, since increasing fitness is beneficial in many different ways, including reducing the risk of obesity and hypertension and improving mood, it seems like a good idea to start or maintain an exercise program. It should greatly improve the quality of life, and if it prevents Alzheimer's disease as well, that's a wonderful bonus!