Sticking It To Alzheimer’s

Despite the funny annotation in the title, Alzheimer’s disease is a serious matter and it affects millions of Americans each year. In fact half a million Americans a year die because they have Alzheimer’s. The even more startling fact is that every 67 seconds an American develops Alzheimer’s. [1] With those scary facts, wouldn’t we want to do everything we can to prevent the disease?

shutterstock_34760188First Thing First: Getting Your Genome Sequenced or Have a Conversation

If you aren’t familiar with your family medical history because you may be adopted, orphaned, or other reasons consider getting your genome sequenced. What does that mean? This means that you can send you DNA to scientists and they can tell you if you may be predisposed to getting certain diseases or cancers, and although this isn’t a crystal ball of what is to happen for sure, it can certainly be a stepping stone to assist you with preventing the worst. Even if you are completely healthy, getting your genome sequenced can be informative. Downsides are of course nothing is for certain and the price can be expensive, however it may be worth splurging a little to save yourself from many future health problems. If you click on the links below you can order a kit and can read more about the Human Genome Project.

Order a DNA Sequencing Kit http://www.eurofinsgenomics.com/en/products/dna-sequencing/overnight-sequencing.aspx#tabs-1875

Read More about the Human Genome Project http://web.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/index.shtml

If you are lucky enough to have your entire family history on file or close family members near you it’s time to have a conversation about your family medical history. Ask specifically about Alzheimer’s disease. If you have children, getting your child’s other parent’s family medical history can save time for your child and be extremely helpful in their future. You may not always remember that when your child was born that your spouse’s Uncle Bob had Alzheimer’s disease. Keep a journal of family medical history while it’s happening can help in cases of emergencies and will assist when you have to fill out that pesky paperwork at the doctor’s office.

If Your Unlucky

If you’re unlucky enough to have Alzheimer’s disease run in your family, don’t fret. Research has shown that there are things you can do to assist in the prolonging of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Vitamin E. Yep taking this over the counter vitamin can help prevent and ease mild Alzheimer’s disease. There are also other great benefits to taking Vitamin E, including beautiful skin. Foods high in Vitamin E such as Spinach, Broccoli, Eggs and Almonds are a great way to get your daily dose as well. Be careful as to not take too much Vitamin E, as this may be bad. [2]
  2. Studies have shown that people carrying the gene who did not exercise shown their hippocampus shrunk by 3 percent on average. 3% might not be much but I wouldn’t want to lose any. “…the brains of physically active volunteers at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease looked just like the brains of people at much lower risk for the disease, said Stephen M. Rao, a professor at the Schey Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging at the Cleveland Clinic, who oversaw the study .“ So take out those sweat pants and make the best of this upcoming spring! [3]
  3. Light alcohol consumption. If you’re over 60 and have no signs of Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, light alcohol consumption can help improve memory. “Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, University of Kentucky, and University of Maryland found that for people 60 and older who do not have dementia, light alcohol consumption during late life is associated with higher episodic memory — the ability to recall memories of events.” [4] Keep in mind that red wine is extremely good for you in moderation, its heart healthy and may help fight cavities. [5]
  4. Avoiding too much alcohol. If you’re still lucky enough to be younger than 60, make sure you don’t go overboard with your alcohol consumption. “A study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry indicates that middle-aged adults with a history of problem drinking are more than twice as likely to suffer from severe memory impairment in later life.” [6]
  5. Avoiding Fried Foods & BBQ Meats. We all know fried foods are bad for you, now there is research that fried food & BBQ Meats could be aging you and impairing your cognitive function. “At high levels they can damage both cells themselves or nucleic acids, and they can trigger inflammation,” Vlassara said. “The whole process can lead eventually over time to a wide range of diseases, from prediabetes to cardiovascular disease, to kidney disease and neurological disease.” [7]

Though you may still get Alzheimer’s disease if you are predisposed to, you may be able to hold out as long as possible.

[1] http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_facts_and_figures.asp

[2] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270708.php

[3] http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/02/can-exercise-reduce-alzheimers-risk/?_r=0

[4] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141023092031.htm

[5] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521133617.htm

[6] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729224949.htm

[7] http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/02/25/fried-barbecued-meats-may-increase-alzheimer-risk/

-Written by Valerie Michel Buck

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About National Care Planning Council

The National Care Planning Council and its affiliated members are dedicated to helping families recognize the need for long term care planning. We are committed to raising awareness and providing information on common eldercare issues. Integrity, honesty, and a genuine concern for the elderly and their families are at the heart of our services.

Posted on February 12, 2015, in Alzheimer's/Dementia, Health & Wellness, Senior Health and Wellness and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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