You Docs: Fighting back against dementia and Alzheimer'sYou Docs: Fighting back against dementia and Alzheimer's
You've heard the figures: In
You've also heard - repeatedly - that medications to treat Alzheimer's have essentially missed the mark time after time. From 1998 to 2017, there were about 146 failed attempts at developing AD drugs; in 2018 another six or so failed to meet the mark. This year, Biogen stopped a trial and
What you may not have heard, and what we're excited about, is the fact that you can take actions NOW that will radically delay or maybe even stop you from developing the condition. You can change your future, and in doing so make epigenetic changes that change your family's future as well.
"Fighting for My Life: How to Thrive in the Shadow of Alzheimer's" is a new book by
In it, you'll learn about the sure-fire ways you can protect your brain so that you may never develop dementia, delay its onset or slow its progress.
n Women with Type 2 diabetes have twice the risk of developing Alzheimer's as nondiabetic women; if they also have a genetic predisposition (ApoE4), the risk is even higher.
n Obesity that first appears in middle age and causes visceral fat around the belly triggers a 72% increase in dementia risk.
n People who smoke and develop AD develop it eight years earlier than non-smokers. In addition, smoking at midlife is associated with a more than 100% increase in risk of dementia.
You can avoid all that, says
1. Adopt a healthful diet. The best? The MIND diet and the What To Eat When diet are blends of the Mediterranean and DASH diets. They focus on foods rich in B complex vitamins (such as B-6, B-12 and folates), anti-inflammatories like vitamin C from fruits and veggies, and unsaturated fats from healthy oils in fatty fish, nuts and olives. You embrace spices like turmeric and cinnamon, ditch sugary and refined foods, and foods with saturated fats.
2. Get regular physical exercise, turn off the TV, push back your desk chair, stand up, move and walk. We recommend 10,000 steps a day, plus a minimum of 150 minutes a week of aerobic exercise (300 is better!), and 30 minutes of resistance exercises twice a week.
3. Tamp down your stress response (highly inflammatory) with daily meditation. There are many types - from the moving meditation of tai chi, to mindful or breath-awareness mediation.
For help finding quality physical and emotional care for someone with Alzheimer's check out the
The You Docs' column runs in Wednesday's Extra.