Growing old accompanies a number of ailments, and one of the most common disorders connected with the elderly is Alzheimer's. It is a neurodegenerative illness in which important regions of the brain, particularly those involved in memory and cognitive functioning, diminish. This presents difficulties for both the individual and the carer family.
According to Dr Pawan Ojha, Director-Neurology, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, Mumbai, therapy is limited, as per him people should take lifestyle adjustments that are thought to lower their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Fogarty International Centre states that Over 75% of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) cases are anticipated to occur in low- and middle-income nations by 2050.
Physical Activity Can Ensure Brain Health
“Regular physical activity is imperative, as it helps to cure a variety of health issues, including brain health. Regular exercise increases blood flow to the brain, lowers the risk of cardiovascular illness, and stimulates the production of neurotransmitters that aid cognitive function,” said Dr Ojha.
Walking, swimming, and yoga have been shown to have a particularly favourable influence on brain function.
Nourish Your Brain with a Healthy Diet
“Eating a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet is essential for preventing Alzheimer's disease. Antioxidants, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and vitamins included in meals can help protect brain cells from damage and inflammation. Berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, nuts, and whole grains should be staples in everyone's diet,” said Dr Ojha, adding, minimising the consumption of saturated fats and refined sugars is important for brain health.
Engage In Mental Stimulation
Keeping the brain challenged through continual learning and mental exercises can help with cognitive resilience.
Frontiers In Aging and Neuroscience, suggests that puzzles, learning a new musical instrument, or mastering a new skill all promote the establishment of new neural connections, which strengthens the brain's ability to adapt and respond effectively.
Prioritise Quality Sleep
The importance of sleep is of utmost important when it comes to brain health. During sleep, the brain engages in important functions like memory consolidation and toxin removal. Poor sleep patterns, such as insomnia or sleep apnoea, have been linked to a higher risk of cognitive decline. Sleep Foundation suggests one should aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep to support optimal brain function.
Try Out Ways To Manage Stress Effectively
Chronic stress can have a negative impact on brain health. Stress causes the release of hormones such as cortisol, which can damage brain cells over time. Dr Ojha recommends meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness that can help you manage stress and boost brain health.
Limit Alcohol and Avoid Smoking
Excessive alcohol consumption can impair cognitive function and increase the risk of Dementia. Similarly, smoking has been linked to the narrowing of blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the brain. By limiting alcohol intake and avoiding smoking, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of cognitive decline.
Also read: Brain Fog Before Period: Is It PMS?
“In the case of Alzheimer's disease, the ancient saying "prevention is better than cure" is especially relevant. While there is no sure way to prevent CTE, living a brain-healthy lifestyle can surely lessen the risk and boost general well-being,” Dr Ojha concluded.
People can protect their cognitive health by keeping physically active, eating a nutritious diet, engaging in mental activities, receiving enough quality and quantity sleep, fostering social connections, managing stress, and avoiding hazardous behaviours. It's never too late to start making these lifestyle changes to invest a healthy brain.