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Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease in which the death of brain cells causes memory loss and cognitive decline. Discovered in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, it is now recognized as the most common form of dementia, or loss of brain function and thus memory and cognitive skills. The cause of Alzheimer’s is linked to the growth of plaques containing the peptide beta amyloid form in the brain, as well as tangles within nerve cells made from the protein tau. There is no established cure for this disease, though research to alleviate symptoms and reverse memory loss is a priority of many in the scientific community.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are usually recognized in the later life, though individuals with a genetic history of the disease may show signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s as young as 30 years old. These symptoms include reduced ability to process and recall new information, impairments to reasonable thinking, trouble performing complex tasks, inability to recognize faces and common objects, impaired speaking, reading and writing, and distinct changes in personality and behavior. These symptoms worsen over time, and thus most Alzheimer’s patients require full-time assistance in the late stages of their disease.
Risk factors for Alzheimer’s are unavoidable- they include aging, a family history of Alzheimer’s, and a genetic predisposition. However, factors such as regular exercise, maintenance and management of a healthy cardiovascular system, a healthy diet, and lifelong learning and cognitive training may help to prevent Alzheimer’s by keeping the brain strong.
5 Stars with Alzheimer’s Though millions are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every year, these stars announced their affliction with the disease. This goes to show Alzheimer’s can effect anyone at any time in their later years. Ronald Reagan: This former president announced his diagnosis six years after finishing his presidency. He passed away in 2004 at …
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese While we do recommend a diet to patients, we cannot recommend what we don’t try for ourselves. We previously made a ketogenic recipe and would like to give you some tips! Who could possible give up the creamy, cheesy nature of mac and cheese? We certainly couldn’t! We found this recipe …
How Music Can be the Key There always is a connection often found within generations. A soft piece that flows through each soul that makes everyone connect one way or another to each other. Music connects everyone willing to listen to it’s harmonious beat. Luckily for Alzheimer’s patients, music has been proven to stimulate the …
More often than not, we find ourselves on the couch for a weekend. There may be a golf tournament or a football game. Your favorite television show might be having a special and you just have to watch it. For Alzheimer’s patients, this may be okay once in a while, but exercising your mind and body is always a good idea to stimulate blood flow and increase overall circulation.
Going for a walk is the first step. Studies have shown that walking a mile and a half four days a week can improve memory and quality of life in just 12 weeks. Having a companion to walk with will also increase your ability to keep a routine with walking. Take a partner! They could be an old friend, or your dog that just want to walk alongside you.
Another exercise that is shown to be beneficial is swimming. Because walking may cause joint pain, swimming has become another mode of exercise that many find to be the perfect fit! Local community pools often have classes for organized group swimming or just a space to do laps. Studies recommend thirty minutes of swimming four days per week for optimal progress.
Though Alzheimer’s is a chronic disease, there can be hope through proper dieting techniques. Physicians often suggest a Ketogenic diet that relies more on a ratio of 60% fats, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
While this does seem like a dramatic change, there is a scientific aspect that supports those whom have Alzheimer’s. Insulin resistance (found in diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes) leads to mental decline. Because Ketogenic diets decrease the amount of carbohydrates, the amount of glucose in the blood decreases, lowering the risk of insulin resistance
Another process takes places as glucose decreases; the body goes through ketosis. Ketosis is the body trying to create new energy sources beyond carbs. It begins to produce ketones that are made to fuel the mind and body while the body does not have carbohydrates.
These ketones have been proven beneficial to blood flow to the mind. You can test your concentrated ketone levels through blood testers, urine testing, and breath testing (blood testing has shown to be the most accurate). Each ratio of ketones to glucose varies on weight and height.
Make sure to contact your physician before making any lifestyle changes as dramatic changes effect every body differently. Below, you can find a diet plan to follow for one week.