Dementia and Alzheimer’s could begin in your 20s. Do these things to reduce their risk

Updated on:16 January 2020, 19:19pm IST
If you don’t fear dementia and Alzheimer’s, let us warn you that it may begin in your 20s only. Yes, that’s right. Do these things to reduce their risk.
Team Health Shots
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Healthy lifestyle could help offset risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Forgetting where you have kept your house keys or losing your train-of-thought mid-sentence may seem like a normal thing but if researches are anything to go by, these could very well be indicators of an early onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

A study, published in Neurology, suggests that beta-amyloid, which is indicative of Alzheimer’s risk, may begin accumulating as early as the 20s in the human brain.

The research points out that signs such as forgetting things or mental anguish point towards the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.

So, what can one do to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Also read: In a promising discovery, researchers find that certain antibiotics can treat early-onset dementia

Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep
Do you hate it when the alarm forces you to wake up early in the morning and leave the comfort of your snuggly bed?

In a world defined by deadlines and career prospects, getting a good night’s sleep can easily become a stuff of dreams.

According to Harvard Medical School, there is a link between poor sleep and a higher risk of accumulating beta-amyloid protein plaque in the brain, one of the hallmarks of the disease.

So if you want to keep Alzheimer’s at bay, going to sleep early and having ample rest could go a long way in protecting yourself from the disease.

dementia and Alzheimer's risk
A sound sleep can help keep Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay. GIF courtesy: Giphy

Brain stimulation is the key
While keeping active physically may help in staving a number of diseases, mental stimulation is also important in beating Alzheimer’s.

Engaging oneself in puzzles or listening to music — as suggested by a study in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences — could facilitate healthy ageing of the brain.

Exercise is an absolute must
A Harvard Medical School report quoted Dr Gad Marshall, the associate medical director of clinical trials at the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as saying that physical exercise helps prevent the development of Alzheimer’s.

He recommended 30 minutes of moderately vigorous aerobic exercise, three to four days a week for physical and mental well-being.

Even though Alzheimer’s usually points towards the brain, it is closely related to the heart as well.

The brain, which has a million blood vessels running through it, gets affected if anything impacts heart health.

Exercising, which maintains heart health by controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, becomes essential in protecting against Alzheimer’s.

Also read: 5 things you need to know about caregiving for a parent with Alzheimer’s

dementia and Alzheimer's risk
Say hi to that morning walk session. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Toss away all that junk food
While burgers, fries and other junk food items may seem like the perfect go-to edible for millennials, a study supported by NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) saw researchers finding that one should avoid fast food and opt for a Mediterranean diet.

Such a diet slows some changes in the brain that may indicate early Alzheimer’s disease. Incorporating yogurt, fruits, nuts, potatoes, whole grains, herbs, spices, fish and extra virgin olive oil may help protect youngsters from an early onset of Alzheimer’s.

So, what’s there to worry about? Just keep your lifestyle habits in place and steer clear of the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

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