Posted by Kevin Johnson
I’ve made previous posts regarding Alzheimer’s Dementia. My mother-in-law has Alzheimer’s Dementia. Watching this disease progress and it’s impact on the individual and the family is very difficult.
Money is being directed on a global scale in support of research to understand, treat, and eventually eradicate this disease. Projections are that by 2050 there will be 115 million cases, including nearly 13.5 million Americans up from the 5.1 million cases that exist in the U.S. today. The projected increase is of course due to the significant increase in aging baby boomers.
The National Institutes of Health allocates $527 million a year to study Alzheimer’s. This amount will surely increase to reflect the expected number new cases. When compared to the amounts of research money allocated for cancer ($6.1 billion); for HIV/AIDS ($3 billion); and for heart disease ($1.9 billion); you can see that the anticipated increase in Alzheimer’s cases coupled with the political will of the baby boomers will surely result in an increase in research money allocated to search for a cure.
Because we don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s Dementia it’s difficult to know exactly how to avoid getting the disease. Nevertheless, leading researchers have recommended ways to minimize the chances of contracting the disease.
- Coffee — Gary Arendash at the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center says that the caffeine blocks build up of Alzheimer’s brain toxins. In one study, drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee per day cuts Alzheimer’s risk 65%.
- Dark Chocolate — Dark Chocolate can boost blood circulation in your brain, lower blood pressure and inhibit stroke damage, all thought to be important in preventing Alzheimer’s and other dementia’s. Note that the cocoa content is at least 70%. It’s thought that even a half ounce of rich dark chocolate a day may be enough.
- Multi Vitamin — Multi-vitamins can slow brain aging, especially if it includes high antioxidants, such as C, E and alpha lipoic acid. Be sure to get 500 mg of B12, 800 mg of folic acid, 20 mg of B6 a day doses found to reduce brain shrinkage up to 50 % in people with mild memory problems.
- Apples — University of Massachusetts researchers report that apples stimulate production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is what the Alzheimer’s drug Aricept also does. It’s believed that you receive the same benefits from two 8-ounce glasses of apple juice.
- Walking — A vigorous 30-minute walk or three 10-mile session on a treadmill produce chemicals that create larger neurons that boost memory.
- The Internet — An hour of Bing or Google searching is said to stimulate an older brain and possible improve thinking and memory. Some video games and online brain games are also thought to be helpful. For some that have been scientifically tested, reference URL www.positscience.com.
- Do Something New — Brain cells are stimulated when you are engaged in new pursuits. People who do challenging mental activities reduce their risk of cognitive decline. Keep in mind that effort is required. Easy word matching or crossword puzzles don’t count.
- Friends and Family — Interactions make a difference. Extroverts with high “social engagement” have less cognitive failure as they age. Being married is also thought to dramatically cut your odds of developing Alzheimer’s.
- Berries — Tufts University researchers report that eating at least a cup of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or cranberries will feed the brain making it stronger and more fit.
- Curry Meal — It’s a fact that India, where curry is a food seasoning staple, has a very low rate of Alzheimer’s. Curcumin, a constituent of curry spices blocks Alzheimer’s-type brain damage and boosts memory in lab tests in animals and in laboratory tests.
As I mentioned above, money for Alzheimer’s Dementia research should increase considerably in the coming years. In the meantime, the ideas above are likely to increase the chances that you will not be afflicted by this debilitating disease.