ART OF AVOIDING ALZHEIMER’SModi Yoga Retreat
Dr.SugataPyne, Medical Superintendent, Modi Luxury Wellness Centre, Rishikesh
Alzheimer’s is a slow progressive deterioration and shrinkage of brain with damage to nerve cells that leads to memory loss, disorientation and language problems. However Alzheimer’s is a bag of uncertainty- its exact causes and preventive measures has not yet been engraved in stone. There are no established protocols or measures to prevent Alzheimer’s but there are certainly many things to do to make brain more resistant to aging and function successfully over a longer a longer period of time.
FOOD & DRINKS
- Cut down on calories and keep weight in control.
- Resort to Mediterranean Diet – anti oxidant rich leafy green, olive oil, vino, berries, almonds, walnuts broccoli, garlic, spinach apple avocado and devoid of any fast food, trans fats.
- Avoid omega-6-fats found in corn oil, soya been oil, margarine, sunflower seed oil. Experts say ½ tbsp./day of such oils is the limit.
- A little bit of caffeine around 400 to 500 mg a day keeps Alzheimer’s at bay. Flavenol rich cocoa, cinnamon, omega 3 fatty acids rich fatty fish etc. saves brain from memory deterioration and dementia.
- Drink tea- as per a UCLA research, older Americans who drink black/green tea have 37% less cognitive decline annually than non-tea drinkers.
- Vinegar is also good for health- studies at Arizona state university have found vinegar can curb appetite and food intake which in turn can control obesity and diabetes associated with Alzheimer’s.
- Excess of alcohol destroys brain cells and pushes you 2-3 yrs closer to Alzheimer’s.
- Supplements are natural substances which are used by the body for metabolic processes- some have to be supplied from outside through food and some are produced by the body themselves.
- Products like L-Carnitine, Omega 3 fatty acids, Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), Curcumin, Vitamin B-12, Niacin are extremely essential to boost memory functions.
- Excess iron and copper in the diet can hamper brain functions.
EXERCISE & PHYSICALITY
- How long can u stand on one leg ? Decline in physical balance can be one of the first signs of future dementia.
- Also keep your body busy moving- right from foot jingling to running. Walks on nature trail, parks and gardens calms your mind and improve short term memory.
- Moderate aerobic exercise for an hour 3 times a week keeps the brain activated.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
- Controlling blood pressure and sugar are integral in helping maintain brain function.
- Get the atherosclerosis status of your body checked through doing a ankle-brachial index. Atherosclerosis in brain increases chances of stroke and Alzheimer’s.
- According to a recent study by Michigan Health System, if you preserve good or excellent vision as you age, your chances of developing Alzheimer’s drop by almost 63%. On the other hand if you have poor vision and don’t see an ophthalmologist, the chances soar to 950%.
- Keep homocysteine level normal – its increased level is not only associated with heart disease but stroke, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Also, people who meditate regularly tend to retain more gray matter and suffer less cognitive decline.
- Also ensure your thyroid is functioning normally. Thyroflex is the apt test for the same.
- A good night’s sleep keeps the levels of toxins like peptide beta-amyloid lower which might prevent Alzheimer’s in later years. Get rid of obstructive apnoea if present in your sleep- it can cause brain damage, shrinkage of brain tissue and memory.
- At the end, socialize frequently and have good company. Keep your brain active by engaging in stimulating activities, education, talks, singing, dancing… An interesting study at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute found out people with highest levels of physical, mental and social stimulation had least chances of developing dementia- their risk halved.