Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | alzheimers | prevention | cause

How Can I Avoid Getting Alzheimer's?

By    |   Monday, 08 December 2014 11:07 AM

Question: My father had Alzheimer's and I'm worried I might get it, too. Is there anything I can do to prevent it? I'm 55 and in pretty good health.

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
We have all kinds of well-meaning suggestions to prevent brain aging. Whether these anti-aging suggestions will affect your individual risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is difficult to determine. We do know that certain preventive strategies may delay the onset of degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Here are the present facts:
No. 1: Alzheimer’s disease appears to be a condition that may be affected in its expression by a  number of other variables that we may be able to modify — such as diet, exercise, avoidance of brain injury, and doing everything you can to be in general health. It’s also important to maintain heart-health and manage any health disorders you may have, such as diabetes, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol.
No. 2: Avoid cooking with aluminum, as accumulated aluminum is believed to adversely affect cognitive function.
No. 3: Maintain sensible nutrition and avoid unnecessary health and dietary stress. There are no pills to take that will prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but eating a healthy diet may delay its onset.
No. 4: Certain supplements may provide some protection from dementia. Omega-3 fatty acids (in fish oil pills) that provide adequate EPA and DHA can be helpful. Beware that excessive supplementation may become harmful because of this loss of balance with other vitamins or nutrients. This is one of the reasons I prefer heavy metal-free fish oil supplements over flax seed supplementation.
No. 5: Avoid food storage in plastics when glass is available. BPA is contained in plastic products and can be risky.
No. 6: Don’t cook food using plastic containers or wrapping. This will minimize exposure to plastic byproducts released by heating or microwaving and reduce BPA exposure that we know is harmful to nerve tissue. Use good-quality glass (not crystal that contains brain-damaging lead).
No. 7: Avoid storing drinks, especially alcohol, in lead crystal or pewter containers, as this will expose you to unnecessary lead exposure that can leach into your food or drinks.
No. 8: Steer clear or lead, such as in paint dust often found in old peeling wall paint.
No. 9: Avoid exposure to asbestos products, such as in old broken linoleum tile or older popcorn ceiling products.
No. 10: Keep your mind active, by reading, doing puzzles and quizzes, and regularly performing mentally challenging activities, which can offer some protection from the progression of dementia.

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A number of strategies and lifestyle changes have been found to reduce the risks for developing Alzheimer's.
alzheimers, prevention, cause
Monday, 08 December 2014 11:07 AM
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