The Onset of Alzheimer’s – Can it Be Stopped?

· January 15, 2019
To prevent the beginnings of Alzheimer's, it's very important to exclude certain risk factors from your routine.

Alzheimer’s is one of the most worrying diseases of recent decades due to an increase in the number of diagnoses. We don’t know the exact triggers or causes of this disease. However, we know that the symptoms advance rapidly.

This disease causes a lot of pain to patients and family members. Consequently, this is why many people ask if it’s possible to stop the degenerative process.

Today, we’ll help answer this question.

puzzle of a person with a piece missing by the brain, representing alzheimer's disease

What is Alzheimer’s?

The brain acts as a multi-functional center. Overall, it’s responsible for the control of all the organs in the body. It interprets external stimuli to send out signals which cause responses in the muscles, bones, organs, and glands.

Being able to walk, memorize a variety of facts, or even feeling thirsty is all because of your brain. However, this can be affected by age.

Furthermore, Alzheimer’s is one of the most common conditions to affect neuronal cells and, as a result, the brain.

It’s a neurodegenerative disease that involves the appearance of a number of symptoms of dementia. In general, it’s associated with aging. However, it can affect young people as well if they have certain risk factors.

In medical terms, the term “dementia” denotes clinical cases which involve symptoms such as loss of cognitive function or memory. In other words, we can associate dementia with memory loss.

As we age, our neurons gradually deteriorate, and as they can’t regenerate, they die. This causes a reduction in many brain functions. Therefore, older people are much more vulnerable to dementia.

See also: The MIND Diet: Eating to Lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s 

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

alzheimer's disease

With Alzheimer’s, dementia appears as the main symptom of a severe degeneration of nerve and brain cells.

As this degenerative process advances, many patients exhibit a marked change in their daily behavior and personality. Likewise, in more serious cases, they can develop severe personality disorders.

The International Alzheimer’s Association has created a list of The 10 Signs of Alzheimer’s. In this list, they detail the most common symptoms seen in patients, such as:

  • Memory problems which make daily activities more difficult
  • Difficulty resolving simple problems
  • Difficulty carrying out normal routine tasks
  • Loss of spatial or temporal awareness
  • Difficulty interpreting images
  • Problems with written or spoken language
  • Putting objects in strange places and similarly, struggling to find things
  • Difficulty in making decisions or loss of good judgment
  • Loss of initiative or motivation
  • Changes in mood, behavior, or personality

The causes of Alzheimer’s

man with alzheimer's disease

Unfortunately, there is still no consensus among medical professionals about the main causes of Alzheimer’s. However, aside from aging, they observe the following risk factors:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcoholism
  • Consumption of toxic substances such as drugs
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Poor sleeping habits (poor quality sleep or not enough sleep)
  • Eating disorders, such as nervous anorexia
  • Cardiovascular problems, such as arterial hypertension
  • Brain injuries caused by accidents, trauma, or illness

Is it possible to stop Alzheimer’s?

a senior citizen and a nurse in a hospital

When we talk about stopping Alzheimer’s, we’re generally talking about slowing down the advance of symptoms.

However, more important than slowing down the degenerative process, is stopping it emerging in the first place. After all, the advance of the degenerative in cases of dementia is extremely rapid.

Preventing Alzheimer’s means excluding risk factors from your routine.

How to care for your mind and body

Therefore, below, we offer some proposals of changes you can make to your daily habits to reduce your risk of having Alzheimer’s :

  • First of all, adopt a balanced diet. Avoid excess food and empty calories.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight, to avoid being overweight, or developing cardiovascular problems.
  • Consume foods rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. These include citrus fruits, red berries, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fish with high omega 3 and 9 content, etc.
  • Reduce your daily stress levels with physical exercise, meditation, yoga, a hobby, etc.
  • Make time to relax and entertain yourself. After all, overloading yourself with work is counterproductive for your health and cognitive abilities.
  • Sleep eight hours a day and make sure it’s good quality sleep.
  • Maintain healthy relationships and spend time in positive environments.
  • Maintain a good level of self-esteem, avoid negative thoughts, and don’t be embarrassed to seek psychological treatment if you think it’s necessary.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. Also, don’t smoke and don’t consume toxic substances.
  • Most importantly, do physical exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes per day).

Discover: What Happens When You do Regular Yoga

In addition, women who are going through the menopause should consult a doctor about estrogen hormone supplements. Scientists believe that the reduction of the natural production of estrogen can make the appearance of the onset of Alzheimer’s more likely.

Alzheimer’s Association. (2016). Dementia Types | Signs, Symptoms, & Diagnosis. https://doi.org/2016-09-19

Gaugler, J., James, B., Johnson, T., Scholz, K., & Weuve, J. (2016). 2016 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimer’s and Dementia. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2016.03.001