Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated every year on the 21st of September with an aim to create awareness about the misconception of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and to encourage and support the families of Alzheimer-affected patients to tackle and fight it.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Around 60 to 80 percent of instances of dementia are caused by Alzheimer’s disease. It is not a typical aspect of aging. Aging is the biggest risk factor now understood, and those 65 and older make up the bulk of Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s is a progressive illness, meaning that over the course of many years, the symptoms of dementia gradually get worse. It causes modest memory loss in its early stages, but by the disease’s latter stages, people are unable to converse or react to their surroundings. A person with this disease typically lives 4 to 8 years following diagnosis, but depending on other factors, they may survive up to 20 years.
What is the Prevalence Rate?
With the increase in the aging population worldwide, Alzheimer’s disease has become a rapidly increasing public health concern. The rate of Alzheimer’s is not steady and has been fluctuating for a long time. With passing years, the rate is moving and it is increasing. Following is the trend of Alzheimer’s from 2019-2022. The risk of developing dementia is proportional to age. The disease burden remains high in most countries and territories, while female and elderly individuals should be the focus of attention. More effective prevention and treatment measures are needed to reduce the disease burden caused by dementia.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?
The symptoms of this disease are divided into 3 main stages. The symptoms typically develop slowly and worsen over time. They can vary from person to person but generally include the following:
Theme of 2023
The ‘Never too early, never too late‘ campaign aims to underscore the essential role of identifying risk factors and adopting proactive risk reduction measures to delay, and potentially even prevent, the onset of dementia. This includes ongoing risk reduction strategies for individuals who have already received a diagnosis.
There is rising knowledge of the lifelong therapies and options available for brain health, as well as the fact that this disease and other dementias can begin many years before symptoms appear. There has never been a greater pressing need to comprehend and address the risk factors linked to this disorder with the estimated worldwide dementia population set to triple by 2050.
How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?
There are several ways to prevent Alzheimer’s. It may include multiple aspects such as lifestyle, diet, medications, and much more. Although there is no surefire technique to completely prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there are various lifestyle decisions and approaches that may lower your risk of contracting the illness. Although adopting a healthy lifestyle can still significantly impact the risk for Alzheimer’s, it’s vital to recognize that genetics also play a part in this condition. Here are some tips to help reduce your risk:
1. Eat a Nutritious Diet
There is enough evidence that eating a Mediterranean diet will reduce your risk of AD. A Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, shellfish, nuts, olive oil, and other healthy fats while limiting red meat intake. Moreover, additional compounds like curcumin, the primary component of turmeric, the golden spice used in curry. It is an effective antioxidant. In rodent brains, curcumin appeared to prevent the formation of damaging amyloid plaques.
2. Mental Exercise
Engaging in mental exercises seems to create or contribute to your cognitive reserve. In other words, you develop additional neurons and pathways in your brain. Activities such as listening to the radio, reading newspapers, solving puzzles, learning a new language, and many more help in uplifting the neurons and rejuvenating the brain.
3. Social Engagement
Maintaining your social interaction may help prevent AD or lessen your risk of developing it. According to a 2018 study involving 7511 adults who were monitored for 9 years, those with high or increased social interaction were less likely to develop dementia. Through the use of mental abilities, social interactions assist you in mental exercise. These include verbal communication, active listening, and remembering.
4. Practicing Aerobic Exercise
Exercise that is aerobically oriented for older persons with AD may help their symptoms. In a small 2017 study, 68 participants with suspected AD were observed for 6 months. They discovered that performing particular tasks more effectively was associated with aerobic exercise. For instance, individuals who exercised aerobically saw bigger increases than those who stretched and toned anaerobically.
5. Reducing Stress and Getting Quality Sleep
Aim for 7-9 hours of good sleep each night and make a regular sleep pattern a priority. Sleep is necessary for maintaining healthy memory and the overall function of the brain. To reduce levels of chronic stress, the patients should engage in stress-reduction programs like yoga, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness.
6. Managing Chronic Conditions
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease should maintain healthy lifestyles and receive the necessary medical care to manage problems including diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. If untreated, these disorders increase the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the most prevalent forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60–80% of dementia cases worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease signs develop gradually over a number of years. These symptoms can occasionally be mistaken for those of other illnesses and are first attributed to getting older. Maintaining an active social life, eating a healthy diet, and staying physically and cognitively active can all help reduce your risk of cognitive decline, including AD. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease without a known cure, but early detection and therapy can help to lessen the symptoms.