By Dr Sugata Pyne, Manager, Smart Metabolic Anti Aging Centre
While every disease is devastating. Alzheimer’s in particular has a crippling effect that emotionally engulfs not only the patient but their entire circle of loved ones. The slow progressive deterioration and shrinkage of brain with damage to nerve cells that leads to memory loss, disorientation and language problems that have almost no resolution. Alzheimer’s is a bag of uncertainty- its exact causes and preventive measures continue to evade researchers.
However, focusing on what we do know, there is a lot one can do to strengthen the brain and make it more resistant to aging, keeping it young and ticking over a longer period of time.
KNOWING WHAT TO EAT
Lay off the junk. Your expanding waistline due to carbohydrate and trans fats rich fast food affects not only the heart but also the brain. A Mediterranean diet full of anti oxidant rich leafy greens, olive oil, vino, berries, almonds, walnuts, broccoli, garlic etc is best.
When it comes to Alzheimer’s Omega 6 might not be your best friend. According to research, Omega 6 fats found in corn oil, soya been oil, margarine, sunflower seed oil secrete chemicals like prostaglandins which spread inflammation throughout the brain. Intake of these should be limited to ½ tbsp./day.
A healthy dose of coffee, around 400 to 500 mg a day, Flavenol rich cocoa, choline rich food- eggs, cinnamon, etc. saves brain from memory deterioration and dementia.
Drink tea!The green or black variety. A healthy dash of vinegar in your salad might help you curb appetite and food intake which in turn can control obesity and diabetes associated with Alzheimer’s.
Limit the booze. Except Red wine – according to a Swedish study of 1462 women tracked for 34 years, women who drank only red wine and no other alcoholic beverage were 70% less apt to develop dementia.
Supplement your body with L-Carnitine, ALA, Curcumin, Vitamin B-12, Niacin to boost memory functions. Control the consumption of Iron and Copper as they can hamper brain functions.
You may also think of using a nicotine patch after consulting with your physician. Nicotine can boost the functioning of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter typically diminished in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. Thus it may improve learning, memory and focus.
EXERCISE & PHYSICALITY
Test your body balance! Decline in physical balance can be one of the first signs of future dementia.
Keep your body busy from moderate exercise as little as thrice a week to scenic strolls and walks keep the brain activated.
Improper diet and lifestyle often trigger the onset of atherosclerosis. The presence of atherosclerosis in brain increases chances of stroke and Alzheimer’s. Getting the ankle-brachial index test done may help identify the presence of atherosclerosis in your body.
Some studies also link poor vision to Alzheimer’s. If you have poor vision and don’t see an ophthalmologist, you have a 950% chance of contracting the disease. Normal Thyroid function and normal homocysteine levels can help in preventing not only Alzheimer’s and dementia but also heart disease & strokes.
Little everyday things like meditation, proper sleep, healthy socialising and keeping good company can all play a significant role in keeping Alzheimer’s away. Keep the brain rested, engaged and happy – and it won’t forget you – or your loved ones!