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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in older people. It causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. However, one in three cases of Alzheimer's disease is preventable, according to a research from the University of Cambridge. Lack of exercise, smoking, depression and poor education are the main risk factors for the disease, say experts.
Meanwhile, a new study has revealed that eating flavonoid-rich foods may protect against Alzheimer's disease. The study was conducted by researchers at Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University. They found that older adults who consumed small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods were two to four times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and related dementias over 20 years compared with people whose intake was higher. The finding has been published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Flavonoids are natural substances found in plants and are associated with various health benefits, including reduced inflammation. Fruits and vegetables such as pears, apples, berries, onions, and plant-based beverages like tea and wine, and dark chocolate are good sources of flavonoids.
Specially, low intake of three flavonoid types was linked to higher risk risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). The three flavonoid types are -
As currently there are no effective drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, preventing the disease through a healthy diet is an important consideration, noted Paul Jacques, senior author and nutritional epidemiologist at the USDA HNRCA.
In Alzheimer's patients, inflammation and insulin resistance can damage neurons and disturb communication between brain cells. Therefore, it is important to eat a healthy diet consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats to reduce inflammation and protect your brain.
Studies have also shown that a combination of simple but effective lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer's and other dementias. Here are six ways to preserve your cognitive abilities and prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Besides keep your fit, regular aerobic exercise can improve your cognitive functioning and protect against Alzheimer's disease say experts.
According to the Alzheimer's Research & Prevention Foundation, regular physical exercise can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by up to 50 percent. In addition, exercise can also slow down deterioration in people who have already started to develop cognitive problems it said.
Isolation is one common problem for older people, which is not good for the brain. So, try to stay connected with people and maintain a social life to prevent development of Alzheimer's disease and dementia in later life.
Keep learning new things and challenging your brain throughout your life. Researchers say keeping your brain active can help reduce risk of develop Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Poor sleep is also a risk factor for Alzheimer's and dementia. This is because a quality sleep is important for flushing out toxins from the brain and keep it healthy. So, if you have problem in falling or staying asleep, find ways to fix it.
Researchers say chronic or persistent stress can lead to shrinkage in a key memory area in the brain, which can hamper nerve cell growth, and increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Reduce stress to minimize its harmful effects on the brain.
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