Friday, 20 September 2013

World Alzheimer's Day 2013

World Alzheimer's Day 2013

World Alzheimer's Day 2013

Every year on the 21st of September, Alzheimer associations across the globe unite to recognize World Alzheimer's Day. Together, we are making small but important strides toward increasing awareness and combating the stigma.  
The theme for World Alzheimer's Month 2013 is Dementia: a journey of caring.
The Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and irreversible disease which has millions of victim in every part of the world with at least two people getting the disease every three minutes. Almost ten percent of adults above the age of 65 are affected by Alzheimer's and it is believed that the incidence and the rate of disease will increase with age and time. 

What is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's is a degenerative disease of the nervous system where the patient starts to lose their memory and in later cases even show behavioral disorders and forgets their own identity. Dementia is the major symptom of Alzheimer's disease where the person loses the activity of the brain and the memory.Till now only symptomatic treatment are available for it and neither the reason behind the disease or its progression is clearly understood.

Nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease
Age and family history/genetics are major risk factors, but emerging research is suggesting that lifestyle factors including diet and exercise can also play an important role in prevention. 

Here are a few other things you should consider.

Up your Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a very potent anti-oxidant and appears to play a role in staving off Alzheimer's. Research shows that those with the highest amounts in their diet  have a significantly lower risk of Alzheimer's disease. 
Top food sources include sunflower and safflower oil, nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, hazelnuts) and green vegetables including broccoli and spinach. Make sure to consume green vegetables with a little healthy fat to maximize the absorption of vitamin E.

Go for fish. Getting adequate amounts of poly-unsaturated omega 3 fatty acids found in fish is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is present in larger amounts in the brain, appears to be particularly important. 
Low levels of DHA in the blood have been associated with worsening mental function. If you don't eat fish, take a fish oil capsule daily or eat 1tbsp of flaxseed or walnuts, almonds.

Move more. Moderate to heavy exercise can decrease your risk of Alzheimer's by up to 45%. Moderate exercise includes house work, climbing stairs, and sports like bowling and golf. And start early -- exercising in your teens can protect you later in life. 
Being fit has been show to decrease brain shrinkage, a common finding in dementia, and may help fight depression, which also commonly occurs in Alzheimer's disease patients. Aim for an hour per day, but every little bit adds up.

Spice things up.  All of us would be happy to know India has a much lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease, and many researchers believe it may be due in part to their extensive use of turmeric (a component of curry) in their cooking. 
Turmeric contains a powerful phytonutrient called curcumin which may help protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease in several ways. Research is currently underway to determine the optimal intake (very little taken by mouth actually gets to the brain) but consuming curry regularly along with a little healthy fat may help and certainly can't hurt.
 Make changes to your lifestyle today, and be consistent, to decrease your risk of Alzheimer's disease. All of the things mentioned above work much better for prevention than for slowing of progression or treatment.

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